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A History 


The First Baptist Church 

of Goldsboro, North Carolina 

Organized in 1843 
in Old Waynesborough 

Edited by 
Charles S. Norwood 

Published in 1988 

Printed by 


Goldsboro, North Carolina 


To: Those members of the early church who served their generation well, 
creating a noble heritage to be preserved by those coming after. 

To: The present generation who has accepted the challenge of preservation and 
enhancing the church, its property, its respect, and leadership in the 

To: The future generation now enrolled in the young people's department, 
whose task it shall be to continue to build the church stronger, and to make 
a better world than their parents ever knew. 


History is the recorded events and the people who performed. It preserves 
for posterity the facts which otherwise would be forever lost. To know history 
we can better plan the future of ourselves, our children, and our church. 

I wish to record the events and stories I have heard and read over the past 80 
years I have spent as a member of this church. This is an updated history from 
1843, when it was organized in old Waynesborough, to the year 1984. 

Charles J. Nelson, our founder, wrote the first history in 1856 when he 
recorded in our oldest minute book how the church was organized. 

In 1894, Rev. John T. Albritton recorded the early life of the church in 
Waynesborough and how he became a member in 1856 and was baptized in the 
Neuse River at Waynesborough by Rev. David Coulling. This was before we had 
a church building of our own and before we were led to build a church and move 
to Goldsboro in 1858 to our present location, 125 S. John Street. 

In 1859, after two years at Wake Forest, Bro. Albritton returned. He was the 
first to be ordained by our church. 

In 1912, J.J. Robinson, brother-in-law of C.J. Nelson, wrote a history for the 
Biblical Recorder to announce the 5th State Convention to be held in our new 
brick church just completed. H.B. Parker, outstanding church deacon, moved 
the church history up to 1930. Mildred Edmondson Greene recorded events 
through 1943. In 1960, I started a search for our early record books that were 
scattered in different areas of the church, which is understandable, considering 
the many additions and renovations we have had over the years. I found many 
early documents, books, pictures of pastors, and memorials to past faithful 
workers. I read all of the old minutes. Gathering them together into a metal 
cabinet for safekeeping, I had also made a scrapbook and many notes of events 
that took place in my early years which dates back to 1908 when I remember 
Mrs. Lizzie Grant, who was my first teacher, who sang and played on a very 
small reed organ, "Jesus Loves Me This I Know For The Bible Tells Me So." The 
first graders had a building to themselves. Maj. Grant had build a one room addi- 
tion to the old first church of 1858 for his wife who taught the beginners so they 
would not be disturbed by the older classes that were all scattered in the sanc- 
tuary (no individual classrooms available). 

In 1912, as a boy of eight years of age, I watched Mr. W.J. Mathews build the 
new church. On Saturdays his son, Jerome, would give the neighborhood boys a 
tour of the buildings from the basement to the roof. I was quite familiar with 
every room, closet and attic of the building as it progressed. 

In 1959 it was my privilege to be Chairman of the committee to change and 
renovate the sanctuary to its present state. My intimate knowledge of its con- 
struction helped qualify me for the job. I had also been active in the church ever 
since it was built. I was one of the first group of young people to be baptized in 
the new church, May 1913. I have participated as chairman or committee 
member on every construction program, change, enlargement and restoration 
since 1912. 

I feel quite at home when I am in the church and I am forever thankful for 
my part in preserving it for our future generation to continue the history from 
this date forward. 


Biography of 

Charles Stephens Norwood, retired President of Crawford-Norwood 
Realtors, was born in 1904 at 306 S. John Street, Goldsboro, N.C., the tenth child 
of George A. Norwood and Louise Hart, both of Hartsville and Charleston, S.C. 

He attended William Street Schools and 
graduated from high school in 1923. After 
two years at Wake Forest College, he 
transferred to the University of North 
Carolina and received a B.S. degree in 
Banking & Finance in 1927. His first job 
was with the National Bank of Goldsboro '1 ^^ 

which closed during the Bank Holiday of 

1931. In the same month as the bank clos- jBT 

ing, he was elected the Secretary-Treasurer 
of the Citizens Building and Loan Associa- 
tion, a position he held for twenty-five 
years. He also became associated in 1931 
with John R. Crawford, his father-in-law, 

whose business, John R. Crawford In- - - 

surance Company, dates from 1892. 
Crawford-Norwood Realtors became the 
new name of the real estate department in 
193 J. 

In 1956 the Savings & Loan became too large to be housed in the same office 
with Crawford-Norwood Company so it moved out in separate quarters. Nor- 
wood became a Vice President and Director and George S. Dewey became the 
executive officer. Norwood retired from First Federal Savings & Loan after 51 
years of service. 

Besides Savings & Loan work, he has developed over 20 subdivisions and 
built over one thousand homes in and around Goldsboro through his real estate 
firm now headed by his son, Charles S. Norwood, Jr. 

He was first married to Mary Crawford who died in 1973. He is now married 
to Mary Corpening, formerly married to Emmet M. Robinson. 

Norwood is a member of the First Baptist Church (since 1912), Kiwanis Club 
since 1936, Goldsboro Country Club organizer, a past President of the United 
Way and Drive Chairman (1949), Wayne County Bond Chairman during World 
War II, and previously served as President of Goldsboro Industries and a Direc- 
tor of the Chamber of Commerce in 1954. He is also President of the Old 
Waynesborough Commission and a past President of the Wayne County 
Historical Association. He has served on the Historic District Commission, co- 
authored a book, HISTORY OF WAYNE COUNTY, is a recipient of the Gertrude 
Caraway Award for Merit in the field of Historic Preservation in the State of 
North Carolina. 

In 1978, he was a major benefactor in the creation of a local History Room at 
the new Wayne County Library. He received an award of appreciation for his 
continuous contributions in 1983. 

In 1984 he was honored by the Boy Scouts of America, Torhunta District of 
the Tuscarora Council, with the Distinguished Citizens Award for support of the 
youth of America. 

In 1987 he was elected as a member of the North Caroliniana Society of the 
University of North Carolina Library. . 


Biblical Recorder (1844-1970) 

History of North Carolina Baptist by M.A. Huggins 

Minutes and Bulletins of the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro (1856-1979) 

History of Wayne County by Judge Frank A. Daniels (1914) 

Baptist Historical Collection, Wake Forest University Library 

Goldsboro News-Argus, Centennial Edition, October, 1947 

J.M. Hollowell, Early History of Goldsboro (1909) 

Wayne County Register of Deeds 

Histories of First Baptist Church by C.J. Nelson (1856) 

by J.J. Robinson (1912) 
by H.B.Parker (1930) 
by Mildred Edmondson Greene (1943) 

History of W.M.U. by Catherine M. Ham 

Cathcart Baptist Encyclopedia 

North Carolina Baptist Almanac (1894) 

Broad River and King Mountain Association (1800-1882) 

Tar River Association 

I also wish to thank and acknowledge the many contributions of material and 
pictures by my friends Lola Delbridge, Catherine Ham, Ruth Kemp, Claude H. 
Moore, Ethel Twiford, Mary Francis Parker Hopson, Collier Cobb, II, Ruth 
Jerman Fry Smith, John R. Woodard, and Bernice Cross. 



Dedication ii 

Foreword iii 

Biography, Charles S. Norwood iv 

Acknowledgments - Bibliography v 


1. Early History of Organization - The Founding 1 

2. Life in Old Waynesborough 3 

3. The First Church Building in Goldsboro, 1958 4 

4. The War Decade, 1860 8 

5. Growing with the Times 13 

6. Our First Mission 17 

7. We Honor Our Founder 21 

8. The Turn of the Century 23 

9. A New Church is Built in 1912 26 

10. Our Biggest Growth 35 

1 1 . Expansion of Our Sunday School 40 

12. Together We Build, 1978-1980 60 


1. Biographical Sketches, Founder and 32 Pastors 67 

2. Eminent Church Members of Early Years 115 

3. Outstanding Church Officers and Leaders 

Recorded in Church Minutes 123 


More History of Special Events in the Life of the Church 

1. 1894 - Waynesborough Religious Interest Recorded 

by Rev. J.T. Albritton 129 

2. 1886 - A History of the Women's Missionary Union of First Baptist, 
organization in 1886 to 1981, by Catherine Ham, Historian 132 

3. 1860-1912 - Biblical Recorders' Report of the Five State 
Conventions held in Goldsboro. 1860 - 1867 - 1880 - 1891 all 
in the first church built in 1858. 1912, December 12th, on 

completion of the new brick church 137 

4. 1900-1979 - History of the Bylaws of the Church 141 

5. 1904-1980 - Church Memorials (See Special Photo Album in 

Library for More Details) 142 

6. 1946-1983 - Kindergarten to Day Care Ministry 151 

7. 1982 - United Church Ministries 154 

8. 1987 - Dr. E. Leon Smith elected President of N.C. State Convention 155 

9. 1832 - Origin of the State Convention 156 



At the close of the Revolution, Dobbs County was being divided and Wayne 
County had its beginning, being formed from the western half of Dobbs County 
in 1779. In 1782, near a boat landing on the Neuse River, a new frame court- 
house (16' x 24') was being built on the north banks, near where Little River 
flows into the Neuse. It was 1787 before this little town of 150 people was incor- 
porated and called Waynesborough, the forerunner of Goldsborough. All of 
Waynesborough, its people, its homes and its businesses would later move only 
one mile east and become Goldsborough in 1847. 

Charles J. Nelson, 1 a native of New i«y ' '' 

Bern, came to Waynesborough in 1839 to "> %i 

establish a business of making carriages ^|||pF =?§SI ^ 

and harnesses. He was a religious man and r ^ ■, 

had the strong support of a good and JJJf |1§ 

religious wife. He was a good businessman jf iffjf ~ f *% 

as well and soon became a leader of the ! ^ KJJ ■ *^ ;■" 

community. He and his wife were distress- i^SS^ 

ed to find no church and very little 
religious interest in the town. He soon -^IffiR 

managed to get a church building started, 
to be called the Free Meeting Hall, where 
all could come and hold meetings. In the | 
year 1840 he organized the first and only 

Sunday School in Wayne County. He was 1 

the superintendent, a position he kept for jjj| 

the next 22 years. It was three years later, 
in 1843, with the aid of Elder David Thom- 
son from Smithfield, that his Sunday 
School was reorganized into the First Bap- CharlesJ. Nelson 

tist Church. Robert McNabb and George 

W. Dupree from Wake County assisted. Five members went into the church as 
its first members - Charles J. Nelson, on letter from New Bern; Thomas C. Gar- 
rison and wife, Lizzie, on letter from Petersburg, Virginia; Patsy Powell, wife of 
John A. Powell, on letter from Smithfield; and Cynthia Ellis. This church of five 
was constituted by a Presbytery, consisting of the executive branch of the board, 
known as Union Association, later known as the Eastern Association. Officiating 
was Bro. Benjamin Olive, George R. French, and Leban Carroll. Thomas C. Gar- 
rison was named the first deacon and David Thomson the first pastor. 

Preachers were scarce and preaching very irregular, but Waynesborough, be- 
ing the halfway stop on the stage coach route between New Bern and Raleigh, 
received more than average visits by Circuit Riders who stopped at the tavern 
and often made use of the Free Meeting Hall. 

1 See Biographies of Nelson, Part II 

David Thomson 

Rev. David Thomson 1 ? was called and 
he agreed to be our first pastor, meeting 
only once a month. He was well known 
throughout Eastern Carolina. History 
records his travels and appearances from 
Wilmington to Weldon and from Raleigh to 
New Bern. He was a delegate to Kehukee 
Meeting House in Halifax County in 
August, 1772. Kahukee Creek Baptists date 
back to 1742. He represented the Separates 
as opposed to the regular Baptist who were 
less strict in receiving members. Rev. 
Thomson was nearing his last ministry 
when he became our first pastor. The 
Bibical Recorder announced his death the 
following year, September 7, 1844, 90 
years of age. 

George W. Dupree 2p of Wake County 
followed Rev. Thomson as our second 
pastor but he served for less than a year. 

Our third pastor, William Robinson 3 ?, is well known in the early history of 
Goldsborough but better recorded as a teacher and publisher of one of the early 
papers. The Goldsborough Patriot, than a preacher. He and his brother John, 
both came from Dublin, Ireland, arrived in this area just as Waynesborough was 
giving way to the migration to higher land one mile east. Waynesborough, on the 
banks of the Neuse, had been described as a very crude and unhealthy place, but 
the real reason for the move was for future business outlooks. The railroad, hav- 
ing been completed from Weldon to Wilmington, had for several years attracted 
building on both sides of the rail. The first vote suggested that the county seat be 
moved to the rail settlement failed in 1845, but on a second vote two years later, 
1847, the issue was a decided victory for the move. Many citizens of 
Waynesborough had already moved and rebuilt on the high land. William Robin- 
son became more interested in the need for a school in the community, so he left 
the church to establish with his brother John the first school. He and his wife re- 
mained active members of our church for many years and a memorial window to 
Mrs. Robinson in our present church sanctuary was given in 1912 by her son, Dr. 
M.E. Robinson. 

In the minutes of the first session of the Union Baptist Association held at 
Kenansville, N.C., October 4-7, 1844, we find under the heading of Newly Con- 
stituted Churches, "Goldsborough is under the care of Elder Robinson. This 
church was constituted twelve months ago. We infer from their letter that pro- 
spect at present is not as flattering as it has been. Membership total 23 - Associa- 
tion Funds, $2.00 - Reported by delegates, W. Robinson and T.C. Garrison." 

Descendants of William Robinson have been very active in civic and educa- 

lp David Thomson, 1st pastor, Part II 
2 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
3p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 

tional affairs in our community, and his influence has stayed with us for a longer 
period of time than any of the other early pastors of the church. 

William Robinson and his second wife, Eliza Davis Robinson, died in 1877 
and 1885, respectively, and are buried in Willowdale Cemetery. 

Rev. Amos Johnson Battle 4p of Edgecombe County was our fourth pastor 
following William Robinson. Rev. Battle had served many churches in Eastern 
Carolina before coming to Waynesborough in 1850. He was an evangelist and 
promoter of Wake Forest and later Chowan Female Institute. He was prominent 
in helping organize the State Convention in 1830 and later held several offices in 
the state organization and Bibical Recorder. 

It was at this time that the Great Revival of 1849 took place in 
Waynesborough and Goldsborough, led by two Methodist ministers, Rev. Ira T. 
Wyche and James H. Brent. Meetings were held in the day at the Free Meeting 
Hall in Waynesborough and at night in the new school house, or Academy, as it 
was called, in Goldsborough. The Academy had just been built on the southeast 
corner of John and Chestnut Streets, where St. Paul Methodist Church stands to- 
day. It, like the Free Meeting Hall in Waynesbrough, was to serve all church 
groups as well as the Baptist, which was the only organized church at that time. 

Colonel and Mrs. Charles J. Nelson were among the Christian leaders of the 
day and rejoiced over the more than one hundred souls that professed faith in 
Christ during the twenty-one day revival. It was a great union of Baptist and 
Methodist effort that resulted in an enlarged Baptist Church and the organizing 
of the First Methodist Church, Rev. Wyche being their first pastor. 

So great was the influence of the Revival of 1849 that it led to the organizing 
of the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church. The Methodist built the 
first church in Goldsborough on the north side of Spruce Street between Center 
and John Streets about 1853. They were first to pull out of the Academy Building. 
At a later date after the Academy Building was moved further down John Street 
to the northeast corner of John and Elm Street, the Methodist were to return to 
John and Chestnut Streets and build their present church, completing it in July 
1883. The old first church on Spruce Street was sold to the Primitive Baptist. It 
was abandoned and torn down in 1965. This lot had been a gift to the Methodist 
in 1853 by Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Holt. 

As late as 1858 the old Academy was still the only church building in 
Goldsborough and served all four of the above named denominations. 

The Presbyterians, organized in 1885, were to move out in their new church 
at the corner of James and Ash Street early in 1856. St. Stephens Episcopal 
Church, organized in 1853, broke ground for their church on the northeast cor- 
ner of James and Mulberry Streets in 1856, but it was May 2, 1857, when they 
held their first service. Lots for the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches were 
given by Willis Hall, local contractor. 

The Baptist, the first to organize, started a drive for funds to build a church in 
1852, but due to their failure to maintain a settled pastor, the building did not get 
underway until 1858. A review of this unsettled period will be given after first 
returning to the story of the rapid move from Waynesborough to Goldsborough. 

4p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 

As early as 1838 the railroad from 
Weldon to Wilmington was nearing com- 
pletion. Building was booming on both 
sides of the railroad at the junction that 
was later to be called "Goldsborough" in 
honor of the civil engineer, Matthew T. 
Goldsborough from Baltimore, who had 
spent most of his time during the years the 
road was being built at this halfway junc- 
tion. Some of his time was spent as a 
boarder of the Charles J. Nelson's in 
Waynesborough and they became fast 
friends. It was Nelson who promoted the 
name of Goldsborough so successfully that 
when the town was incorporated in 1847 it 
was named for this railroad engineer. 

The founding of Goldsborough was a 
new era in the lives of the people. 
Everything was to be new, bigger and bet- 
ter than they had known in 
Waynesborough. The best homes were be- 
ing torn down and rebuilt while others 

were being moved intact to the new town. Old log houses on the river were being 
left behind. Two new hotels would be built on opposite corners at the railroad 
and Walnut Street before the town was named or incoporated - "The Borden," 
on the northwest corner, and "The Griswold Hotel" on the southeast corner. 

Major Matthew T. Goldsborough 


Charles J. Nelson had been a success as a buggy and harness maker in 
Waynesborough. He now chose a new site for his business in the new town on 
311 South John Street not far from the Academy. His business continued to grow 
until it was one of the largest in town. He used a large outdoor bell to call his men 
to work. Being only a block away from the Academy, his bell was also used to 
call the people to Sunday worship. He was the chief supporter and promoter of 
the Baptist Church, but was having a hard time getting a preacher to settle down 
with the church. 

After Rev. Battle, came Rev. Harley Minor 5p of New York, and then the Rev. 
Joshua J. James. 6p He was active in the State Convention and Biblical Recorder. 
The Convention agreed to pay part of his salary, a practice they still do to help 
young churches get started. We have very little records of our first six pastors as 
the first records were burned. The Union Association, however, records Rev. H. 
Minor as attending the Association Annual Session, October 7, 1850, held at Bear 

5p Rev. Harley Minor is mentioned in early Minutes of Church, nothing more. 
6p See Biographical Sketches, Part II 


Marsh, North Carolina. He was named on the Committee of Ordination and was 
appointed to examine petitionary letters. The next year, October 3-6, 1851, he 
was appointed to preach the Charity Sermon at Little Creek, Greene County. 
Minor also attended the 10th Annual Session of the Association held October 1-4, 
1852. The Association changed its name to Eastern Association at this session. 
After 30 years the name would be changed again to the Atlantic Association in 

Dr. Samuel Wait 7p had retired as the 
first president of Wake Forest College in 
1846. He served as the college president 
from 1834, when it was first opened. He 
was in his late sixties when he accepted the 
call to the First Church in Goldsborough. 
The Church was still meeting in the old 
Academy Building and trying to get a 
church building program going, but 
everything was moving very slowly. Dr. 
Wait was not only a great educator, but 
was also one of the founders of the State 
Convention. He was its first general 
secretary and paved the way for the first 
publication of the Biblical Recorder. Wake 1 
Forest honored this man by naming its Ad- 
ministration Building for its first president. 
Dr. Wait's ministry ended the first and ear- 
ly period of the church. A fire destroyed all 
our church records and history from the 
organization to the fall of 1856. The earliest minutes that we now have are dated 
October 4, 1856, when a meeting was called to consider the calling of a pastor, 
the eighth to be called in the thirteenth year of the church. Charles J. Nelson and 
Hosea Williams were asked to extend the invitation to the Rev. David Coulling. 
E. B. Wood was the church clerk signing the minutes. 

David Coulling 8p of Petersburg, Virginia, was the man the church had been 
waiting for. He was a leader and a good preacher. The people responded and he 
was kept busy baptizing new members. Charles Nelson headed a committee to 
find and secure a lot on which to build a church. Hosea Williams, Thomas 
Gregory and E. B. Wood were to serve with him. They were considering buying 
the lot that the Academy was on from William B. Edmundson, but dropped the 
idea when J. J. Baker, a large property owner, offered to sell a lot on John Street, 
75' x 75' for $400.00 and to give $100.00 in cash to start the building. This lot is 
the same that our present Education Building covers in its entirety. The lot was 
deeded April 17, 1857, to C. J. Nelson, J. J. Baker and E. B. Wood, Trustees. It 
was known as lot No. 55 of the Plan of Goldsborough. The building committee 
was named January 18, 1857, and comprised of Charles J. Nelson, Chairman, 
John T. Albritton, Hosea Williams, E. W. Cox, E. B. Wood, William B. Edmund- 



Dr. Samuel Wait 

7p See Samuel Wait Sketches, Part II 
8p See David Coulling Sketches, Part II 

son, Col. J. J. Baker, and the pastor, David Coulling. Solicitation of funds for the 
new church continued, Rev. Coulling held a great revival and many were taken 
into the church. 

Bro. John T. Albritton appeared before the church to announce his plans to go 
to Wake Forest to prepare for the ministry. In 1859, he returned and became the 
first person to be ordained from this church. 

Among those baptized by David Coulling at Waynesborough in the waters of 
the Neuse were J. J. Baker, October 3, 1857; Virginia Robinson; Margaret A. 
Robinson; Eliza Davis Robinson, by letter from Union Church in White Hall; and 
Julia Pipkin, by letter from Murfreesboro. Julia Pipkin later became the wife of 
P. D. Gold, our pastor in 1863. 

On December 11, 1857, Rev. Coulling resigned, and on February 6, 1858, 
Rev. George Bradford 9p accepted a call to the church. This was reported by Bro. 
Nelson who was also authorized at the same meeting to rent rooms at the 
Gregory House for six months "as cheap as possible." The church did not have a 
parsonage and the hotel one block away was the logical answer. Rev. Bradford's 
salary was to be $400.00 per year. Rev. Bradford and Bro. Nelson continued the 
solicitation of funds for building and received aid from Baltimore, Raleigh, 
Wilmington, Union Association, and far away Chowan Association which Rev. 
Bradford visited in May, 1858. His visit was recorded in our church minutes of 
that date. 

The church was nearing completion in July, 1858, when the minutes record 
authorization to Bro. Nelson to negotiate with Bro. Thomas Skinner of Raleigh 
for a bell to cost no more than $150.00. That bell is still in use and the only bell 
the church has owned, and is the oldest bell in use in the city today. Also record- 
ed is a gift of a lightning rod for the church spire. 

Interior of Old Church decorated for a wedding. 

The Baptist State Convention held 
here - 1860, 1867, 1880 and 1891. 

9 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 

The church that Charles Nelson built was a frame church painted white. It 
had been discussed a long time and it was hoped that the church would be of 
brick, but the money did not come in fast enough and Nelson was determined to 
have a church. It was a 60' x 40' building with a 60 ft. steeple, the only steeple in 
town until the Methodist built St. Paul's in 1883. St. Paul's steeple was 120 ft. 
high, one of the tallest in the state until Hurricane Hazel toppled it on October 
15, 1954. Our church started at the sidewalk and extended the full depth of the 
lot. Entrance was from two sets of steps that entered a vestibule and then into the 
sanctuary which had a red carpet. We had a balcony for our colored members 
who numbered 24 named in the January, 1859, membership roll. The roll of col- 
ored members as well as the white members is found on page 57 of our Minute 
Book No. 2 of 1858. Members are listed by name, 35 males - 57 females and 24 
colored, for a total membership of 106. The balcony had an iron rail that extend- 
ed around the ledge of the balcony that formed a horseshoe effect, that is, a 
balcony on two sides and across the back. This same iron rail was used in 1912 in 
the new church Sunday School balcony, but it was discarded when the church 
was renovated in 1960. Our early church had a raised platform for our pulpit, 
and the baptismal pool was under the floor just behind the pulpit, which would 
be removed and the floor, on two large hinged flaps, would open up for the bap- 
tismal service. The pulpit and the three original pulpit chairs have been pre- 
served, refinished, and they are now in use in the Laura Harrell Chapel of the 
present church. The pews of the original church were used in the new church 
Sunday School auditorium for many years, or until 1960 when the church 
renovation incorporated the Sunday School auditiorium into the main sanctuary. 
The Men's Bible Class was the last to use the pews. When their classroom was 
converted to the Harrell Chapel in 1968, the pews, still good, were given to a 
Negro church. 

The original pulpit and chairs used in the first church. 


The church sanctuary was also the Sunday School auditorium and was 
presided over by Charles J. Nelson, the founder and superintendent. As the 
enrollment grew, classes of like ages were formed and gathered in groups 
through the church to hear a lesson taught by their teachers. Children went to the 
balcony and were divided up, while young people were in many groups in the 
main sanctuary. It was quite different from present day individual classrooms. 
You could very easily hear what was going on in the next class across the aisle if 
you were not concentrating on your own lesson. It was more than 20 years before 
a special Sunday School room was added on the south side of the church. This 
room was for the small children and will be described more fully later in this 
story when we reach the time it was added in 1885. 

There are two pictures of our frame church now hanging in our present 
church office. The date of the pictures has not been determined but about 1900 
would be a good guess. 

The total cost of the church and lot was $4,000.00. The lot was $400.00 and 
the church $3,600.00. Upon completion in July, 1858, there was a balance unpaid 
of $1,075.00. This debt remained about the same for two years and was finally 
paid off by Bro. Nelson, J. J. Baker and Willis Pipkin. 

It is interesting to note that the church minutes of 1858 discuss the need for a 
sexton to care for the church and light the candles at night. They hired a woman 
for $2.00 per week but in a short time there were complaints on both sides. The 
people were dissatisfied with the language of the sexton, so she was fired. Bro. 
Nelson said he would look after the job himself. 

The minutes also reveal that members were expelled for "contempt of the 
church" if they did not attend regularly and if their daily conduct was not becom- 
ing a church member. 

Rev. Bradford stayed only one year as pastor and was succeeded by Rev. 
George W. Keesee 10p in January, 1859. He was a young man from Richmond, 
Virginia. He had recently graduated from the University of Virginia and had 
preached only two years before coming to Goldsborough. This was a very event- 
ful period in the life of the new church struggling to get going. 


1860 was the year our church played host to the first meeting of the State 
Convention in Goldsboro with Rev. Keesee the host pastor. Condensed minutes 
of this meeting were published in the Biblical Recorder of Nov. 13, 1912. A copy 
is filed in the church office in Minute Book No. 5. On April 12, 1861, 'the shot 
that was heard around the world' was fired on Fort Sumpter, Charleston, S.C.; 
the Civil War was begun. Rev. Keesee was successful in advancing the work of 
the Kingdom, not only in Goldsboro, but also in other Associations in eastern 
Carolina. Suddenly in July, he was stricken with typhoid fever and died within 

10 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 

three days. This was a great shock to the members of the church as well as his 
associates in the work of building up the Association in eastern Carolina. An ac- 
count of his death in the Biblical Recorder, July 24, 1861, best tells of the melan- 
choly caused by his death. He was buried in Richmond, Virginia. 

First Baptist Church — 1885 

The church was without a pastor for the next six months, but in January, 
1862, Rev. Needham Bryan Cobb llp accepted the call. He was only twenty-six 
years of age, but he had graduated from the University of North Carolina at the 
age of eighteen, had his masters degree at twenty, had taught a year, studied law 
and practiced in Pitt and Wayne Counties. Before coming to Wayne County, he 
had left the Episcopal Church in which he had been vestryman. He was baptized 
in Greenville, North Carolina. In 1860 he was ordained in Wilson by a 
presbytery that included Elder George W. Keesee, whose pulpit he now accepted 
to fill. This remarkable man was with us for only a year but his interest and ser- 
vice was far reaching, both in Goldsboro and throughout the State as teacher, 
editor, historian, preacher and pastor. While in Goldsboro he was president of 
Wayne Institute and Normal College and professor of Latin and Greek in 
Goldsboro Female College. In 1889, Judson College conferred upon him a Doc- 
torate of Divinity degree. Dr. Cobb served many churches throughout North 
Carolina and for three years, 1879-1881, was president of the Baptist State Con- 

11 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 

vention for three terms. In leaving Goldsboro in January, 1863, he went into 
Lee's Army as a chaplain, where he served until the end of the war. He had also 
held the position of general secretary or corresponding secretary of the State 
Convention, 1862-1865, while still serving in the Army. Dr. Cobb is remembered 
also as a poet, teacher and author. He wrote his own textbook. We are fortunate 
that our own church library owns a copy of his best known book entitled, 
Poetical Geography of North Carolina and Other Poems. This book was a 
gift to the church library by a grandson, Collier Cobb of Chapel Hill, North 
Carolina. Other descendants and relatives are still living in Goldsboro. 

Elder Keesee, Cobb, Gold and Whitfield were our pastors during the war. It 
is not hard to read in the church minutes and other church records what a trying 
time was experienced in the endeavor to hold the church together. Most of the 
men from ages 21-45 were in the Army. Goldsboro was almost overrun by 
General Foster's men early in the war, December, 1862. Foster advanced on the 
town from New Bern by way of White Hall and Everettesville, but was stopped 
at the Neuse Railroad Bridge and the Covered Bridge. 

J.M. Hollowell*, the county historian and active member of the Goldsboro 
Rifles, told many interesting stories of the times and ordeals of the people of 
Goldsboro during the war years. He was a prominent member of our church, 
having served as clerk of the church for 30 years as well as being a Sunday School 
teacher and trustee. He died in April, 1912, just before the present church was 
completed. A memorial window in the north vestibule of the' church bears his 
name and dates 1840-1912. His name appears quite often in the history and 
records of our church. 

Elder Pleasant Daniel Gold 12p came to Goldsboro in January, 1863, from 
Cleveland County, North Carolina, to seek and find his bride, Miss Julia Pipkin, 
a member of our church. Her letter of transfer from Murfeesboro to Goidsboro is 
recorded in our minutes, December 11, 1857. They were married in January by 
Rev. N. B. Cobb before he departed for the Army, and before the month was out 
P. D. Gold assumed the duties of the pastorate vacated by Rev. Cobb. He too was 
young, only thirty years of age. 

Elder Gold had read law but never practiced. After spending almost two 
years here, he left to serve other churches in Eastern Carolina. He soon left the 
Missionary Baptist and united with the Primitive Baptist at Kehukee Church in 
Halifax County. Kehukee, one of the earliest Baptist churches in North Carolina, 
was in existence about 1743, a hundred years before our church was organized in 
1843. Later Elder Gold settled in Wilson, North Carolina and became an editor 
and published the Primitive Baptist paper, Zions Landmark. He has a daughter, 
Mrs. Ruth Gold Spicer, and a granddaughter, Mrs. Martha Gold Stroud, and 
other relatives, now deceased. 

Bro. Charles J. Nelson, after twenty-two years as superintendent of the Sun- 
day School he had organized in 1840, passed the job to Peter Bogart who served 
for only one year before his brother, William Bogart, took over as superintendent 
from 1863-1868. 

12p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
Eminent Members, Part II 


Our church was without a parsonage until 1864, when C. J. Nelson bid in two 
lots adjoining the church on the south side at an estate sale from L. B. and J. A. 
Evans for the sum of $7,000.00. These lots were known as No. 53 and No. 54 of 
the Plan of Goldsboro. The first church was built on lot No. 55. Bro. Nelson of- 
fered to sell the property to the church for $500.00 less than he paid for the two 
lots. One of the lots had a small residence that could be used as a parsonage. The 
proposal was accepted, and the deed, from the two Evans to Trustees, C. J. 
Nelson, William E. Bogart, James H. Privett, Willis Pipkin and Jesse J. Baker, 
was made July 29, 1864. 

The church minutes show that Bro. Nelson gave $500.00; Bro. Bogart, 
$1,000.00; J. J. Baker, $1,000.00; William Robinson, $500.00; and J. H. Privett, 
$1,000.00. Willis Pipkin, S. H. Denmark, J. J. Bradbury, Hosea Williams, N. B. 
Cobb and several others completed the needed sum. Several hundred dollars 
came from Bro. T. E. Skinner in Raleigh. The small Evans residence was used as 
the parsonage until 1873. 

Dr. Theodore Whitfield 13p followed Elder Gold to our pulpit in September, 
1864, at the age of thirty. His wife was a niece of Gov. John Morehead and was a 
very able helpmate. She actually canvassed the Federal Camps surrounding 
Goldsboro for enough money to buy a reed organ for the church. In later years 
Mrs. Whitfield played an important role of organizing the W. M. U. in our 
church and the State. Rev. Whitfield left Goldsboro after two years, but returned 
twenty years later for a second term, 1883-1886. 

In 1864 the colored members of our congregation expressed a desire to have 
their own church. With the aid of Mrs. Whitfield, C. J. Nelson and P. D. Gold, 
the First African Baptist Church was organized. It was the only Negro church in 
Goldsboro at that time. There have been many other churches since then 
throughout our county that trace their origin to the First African Baptist Church. 
Some of these are Barnes Chapel, Folk Township; Hooks Grove, Pikeville; 
Augusta Chapel, Brogden Township; Best Grove, Stoney Creek; Ebenezer Bap- 
tist, LaGrange; Mt. - Calvary; Saint Stephens Baptist and Antioch. The first Negro 


First African Baptist Church before the 1973 fire which 
destroyed the building. 

13p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


State Baptist Convention was organized in Goldsboro at the First African Church 
in 1867. 

First African Baptist's New Building on Harris Street, 1978. 

In 1872, C. J. Nelson and wife, Sarah, deeded to Samuel Washington, George 
Bunting, Calvin Best, Trustees of the First African Baptist Church, a lot 
108' x 217, on the Little River Bridge Road (now W. Pine Street), for the con- 
sideration of $500.00. This is the site of the present large brick church that was 
completed in 1924 on the same lot that had been the church's location since 1864. 

Rev. J. B. Hardwicke 14p followed Dr. Whitfield as pastor in April, 1866. He 
came from Petersburg, Virginia. In May, Rev. Hardwicke and Dr. Hooper or- 
dained Bro. Charles J. Nelson into the ministry. Nelson had been most successful 
as a businessman but was determined to enter the ministry. He sold his business 
and, without a church, he rode his horse from one community to another 
preaching the word of God to those who would listen and helping strengthen 
weak churches throughout Eastern North Carolina. He was the second member 
to be ordained by our church. 

October 16-19, 1867, was the date of the second State Convention to be held 
in our church. Rev. Hardwicke was the host pastor. Minutes of this meeting can 
be found in our church Minute Book No. 5. It will be of interest to know that at 
this meeting a committee was appointed to help the colored brethren organize a 
Colored Baptist State Convention. Notation was made at the convention that Dr. 
Samuel Wait had recently died. 

Rev. George W. Sanderlin 15p , at the age of twenty-five, began his first 
pastorage in Goldsboro in 1868. He had just graduated from the Southern Baptist 
Theological Seminary. He had served in the Confederate Army for four years and 
was commissioned a Captain. He had attended the State Convention that was 
held in our church the year before and had served as recording secretary. Bro. 
Sanderlin was the only pastor of our church who acted as superintendent of the 
Sunday School at the same time as pastor. He held both positions for the full 
three years he was in Goldsboro. He accepted a call to the Franklin Square Bap- 
tist Church in Baltimore in March, 1871. Five years later, due to ill health, he 
resigned to return to Wayne County to live as a farmer. After he regained his 
health, he entered upon a political career that carried him to Washington, D.C. 
He became the fourth auditor of the Treasury of the United States. 

14p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
15p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 



Elder Columbus Durham 16p filled our pulpit for the next five years, from 
August, 1871 to January, 1876. Like Sanderlin, Goldsboro was his first pastorate. 
He was only twenty-seven years of age when he assumed the call. He and 
Sanderlin had been friends and classmates at Wake Forest College. Both had 
served in the War until its end. Durham was well received in Goldsboro. The 
membership of the church doubled and the church was freed of any debt. 

The parsonage was small so it was decided that it should be enlarged and 
remodeled. Bro. Nelson was called upon once again as chairman, to do the job. 
Funds for this program were made available by selling the corner lot (105'x210') 
(Now Strosnider) to the Methodist Church for $1,650.00. The Methodist had ex- 
pressed a desire for a site for their parsonage. On March 23, 1873, our Trustees, 
C.J. Nelson, A.H. Humphrey, J.H. Privett, William Taylor and J.M. Hollowell, 
deeded to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, J.C. Slocumb, 
E.B. Borden, W.F. Kornegay, J.H. Powell and E.W. Adams, lot No. 53 of the Plan 
of Goldsboro, which is the northwest corner of John and Chestnut Streets. After 
purchasing the lot the Methodist changed their plans and in 1876 sold the lot to 
N.R. Grainger, who built the house that is still standing today (1970). The proper- 
ty soon passed to his son, Charlie Grainger, who sold the front portion of the lot 
to Capt. J.B. Edgerton. Dr. Strosnider inherited the property from his first wife, 
Miss Nellie Edgerton. The rear portion of the lot was held by Mrs. Charlie 
Grainger until 1950 when purchased by John R. Crawford, who presented a deed 
of the property to the church as a gift, thus returning this rear portion of lot No. 
53 to the church after a lapse of 77 years. 

Left side of South John St. at Chestnut ca. 1900. Grainger-Edgerton-Strosnider 1st house, 
church parsonage and church building. B.G. Thompson house 1st on the right. 

16p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


Columbus Durham moved on to other churches in the State and South 
Carolina. He was immensely interested in education and missions. In 1888, 
eleven years after he left the Goldsboro pulpit, he became the general secretary 
of the State Convention. He was referred to as the Great Columbus Durham. He 
was back in Goldsboro when the Convention met here in 1886 and again in 1891. 
when he held the secretary's position. At that time his salary as secretary was 
$1,500.00 plus $275.00 for travel. At the latter meeting, he gave a thirty page 
report on the affairs of the State Convention. Columbus Durham died at the age 
of 51 in 1895, while still secretary of the State Convention. 

Capt. J.J. Robinson, a long time member of our church, was superintendent 
of the Sunday School during most of Rev. Durham's stay. He had been a teacher 
and a deacon. His sister was C.J. Nelson's second wife. Another very influential 
couple who had entered our church by letter during Rev. Durham's ministry was 
Hiram L. Grant and wife, Lizzie. They made a great contribution as teachers and 
church leaders for the next forty years. Major Grant had been in Goldsboro dur- 
ing the Civil War as a Major in the U.S. Army. So impressed with the town and 
people, he returned in 1869 to make Goldsboro his home and to become an 
outstanding businessman and church leader. Major Grant was first in the brick 
manufacturing business. He had bought all the lots in old Waynesboro from 
W.R. Lane and this was the location of his plant. Mrs. Grant joined the church in 
1869. Major Grant was baptized in 1874. Goldsboro was now a town of over 
2,000. Two big historical fires in the business section had occurred and new 
growth was taking place. Hotel Kenon was being built to replace burned out 
Griswold Hotel and the Gregory House. Free schools were established and things 
were on the move. 

Rev. Fitz Henry Ivey, 17p a native of 
Fayetteville, was our next pastor, follow- 
ing Elder Durham. He came in February, % 
1876 and remained to January, 1883. This 
was the longest stay for any pastor of the 
church up until this time. Like most of our 
recent pastors, he had served in the Con- 
federate Army as chaplain. After the War 
he had served churches in Georgia and 
after his stay here he returned to Georgia. 
Goldsboro's population was now over 
3,200 and the State Asylum for Negroes 
was established here in 1880. The follow- 
ing year Goldsboro had its first bond issue 
for free schools, launched by J. A. Bonitz, 
Charles B. Aycock, F.A. Daniels, Joseph E. 
Robinson. Business was good and many 
new industries were begun. J.E. Peterson 
was superintendent of our Sunday School. 
He served the church in many capacities Rev. Fitz Henry ivey 

17p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


for the next forty years. In November, 1880, our church was host to the State 
Convention for the third time. Rev. Ivey was the host pastor. Dr. Needham 
Bryan Cobb, our former pastor in 1862, was serving his second term as president 
of the Convention and presided over the meeting. Foreign Missions was the 
keynote of the meeting. This being the Semi-Centennial of the State Convention, 
1830-1880, it was pointed out that in 1830 there were 15,000 Baptist in the State 
and now, in 1880, there were 100,000 white and 80,000 colored Baptist. A brief 
account of this meeting was reprinted in the Biblical Recorder of November 12, 
1912. It is also found in our Church Minute Book No. 5. 

Goldsboro, in the fall of 1884, suffered a great loss in a big fire destroying 
businesses on Walnut Street from James to Center Street - both sides of the 
street - on Center Street south to Weil's and north to Dewey Bros. All buildings 
in this area were destroyed but in a very short time during the next year, all 
buildings were rebuilt and business was thriving again. 

Charles Brantley Aycock, our Educational Governor, joined our church by 
letter, August 1, 1880, and his wife, Varina Aycock, by baptism, May, 1888. Cur- 
tis Brogden and his sister, Nancy, joined our church in 1891 by letter. Brogden, a 
Lieutenant Governor, was called to be Governor on the sudden death of Gover- 
nor T.R. Caldwell in 1874. J.M. Hollowell received a telegram from Raleigh re- 
questing that he get Brogden to Raleigh at once. The only two Governors this 
county has produced for the State were members of our church. Other outstand- 
ing members of this era were as follows: W.G Britt in 1885, Robert E. Coker from 
Darlington, S.C., by letter, 1898; Willis A. Denmark, baptized, 1881; E.L. Ed- 
mondson, baptized, 1889; Mrs. Lois Keaton Edmondson, 1890; R.M. Freeman, 
1886, Clerk of Church; W.T. Faircloth, 1888, Chief Justice of N.C. Supreme 
Court; A.H. Keaton and wife, 1864; and Mrs. S.D. Pettiway, sister of J.J. Robin- 

In March, 1883, Dr. Theodore Whitfield 18p returned to our pulpit for a second 
time. Major Grant became interested in our Sunday School and saw a need for 
enlargement. His wife was already an established leader and teacher of the 
young people. In 1885. Major Grant gave enough brick to Mr. Harding, a con- 
tractor, to build the bell tower of St. Stephens Church. In exchange, the contrac- 
tor built for our church its first addition; namely, a separate room approximately 
20'x48' added to the church on its south side. This addition was to be used ex- 
clusively by Mrs. Grant and her Primary Department which she presided over as 
teacher and organist. It was twenty-five years later that the writer remembers 
Mrs. Grant so well playing the organ and leading the singing. The organ was very 
small, only 3' long and 3' high, and was pumped by foot pedals. I remember at- 
tending Sunday School in this classroom in 1910, just a few years before it would 
be torn down to make room for our new church. A picture of this addition hangs 
on the wall of our present church office. Major Grant became superintendent of 
the Sunday Schools and served until 1892. He and Mrs. Grant continued to serve 
the church in many ways. Their three daughters were listed among the teachers 
in 1895 and their son, J. Hiram Grant, was ordained a minister and sent out from 

18p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


our church in 1894. One of our most outstanding stained glass windows in our 
present sanctuary honors the Grant family which played such a large and long 
role in the life of our church. 

Two other members of our church about this time were also ordained as 
ministers - John T. Edmondson and Junius W. Millard. 

Dr. Whitfield, encouraged by his wife, preached missions to a great extent 
and invited missionaries to visit our church. In the spring of 1886, only a short 
time before the Whitfield's left Goldsboro, A Woman's Missionary Society was 
organized and Mrs. Whitfield became the first president. Mrs. H.L. Grant was 
named president of the Society the following year, 1887, and Mrs. M.A. Robin- 
son was the third president in 1888. Mrs. Robinson was J.J. Robinson's mother 
and died Sept., 1894. A tribute to her is found in the W.M.U. minute book No. 2 
of that year, page No. 53. Similar Missionary Societies were being organized in 
churches throughout the state. In 1888 there was an effort to bring all Baptist 
Church Missionary Societies together under the Southern Baptist Convention, 
but not until 1891, while the State Baptist Convention was being held in 
Goldsboro, did the State Societies come together and form the W.M.U. and elect 
to become an Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. So many women 
were interested in this organization that our small church was overflowing. St. 
Paul's Methodist Church across the street had just been completed in 1883 and 
they very generously offered their church to the Baptist Women who graciously 
accepted. It was here that the state WMU was organized at its first convention.* 

Thomas Dixon, 19p Jr., "The Genius," 
was called to our pulpit in October, 1886, 
at the age of twenty-two. Dixon, a Wake 
Forest College graduate, was not sure what 
the future held for him. He started out a 
lawyer, then tried the ministry, public 
speaking, playwriting and novel writer, 
motion picture director, real estate 
developer. He made millions with his pic- 
ture, "The Birth of a Nation", then lost it all. 
Thomas Dixon, Sr., his father, was a Bap- 
tist preacher from Cleveland County dur- 
ing the 1850's. Thomas Dixon, Jr. was 
brilliant and a most eloquent and convinc- 
ing speaker, but our records of his stay in 
Goldsboro do not record great accomplish- 
ments. He resigned May 6, 1887, to go to a 
Raleigh church, where he stayed less than 
a year before he moved to New York City. 

Officers of our church at this time were 
J.M. Hollowell, Clerk; J.J. Robinson, 
Treasurer; J.E. Peterson, J.H. Privett and 

Thomas Dixon, Jr. 

19 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
Prior to this date only men were invited to the Convention. Another historic date in the life of the church. 


Dr. J.D. Roberts, Deacons. Trustees were J.M.Hollowell, C.J. Nelson and J.H. 
Privett, J.Y.Joyner was superintendent of the Sunday School and J.J. Robinson 
was his assistant. Teachers were J.E. Peterson, D.T. Moore, J.N. Green, Mrs. J.E. 
Peterson, Mrs. R.Hardison, Mrs. M.E. Millard, Mrs. S.D. Pettiway, Mrs. Bettie 
Stanley, Miss Katie Millard, and Major and Mrs. H.L. Grant. 

Rev. J.S. Dill 20p was our twentieth 
pastor. He came in March, 1888, and 
served until December, 1890. Rev. Dill 
was most interested in missions - local, 
state, and foreign. He served on the Ex- 
ecutive Board of the Atlantic Assoc. He 
was the Association's delegate to the 
Southern Baptist Convention. He was head 
of all missions and reported on foreign and 
home missions at each annual session. He , 
attended the W.M.U. meetings regularly. Jlk ^^ 

In fact, they were usually held in the par- 
sonage and he participated in the program. 
In May, 1888, Rev. Dill reported being in 
Richmond, Va., at the Convention and 
pledged $5.00 for the Mexican Mission 
from the Goldsboro Society. His action was 
approved and money forwarded. Book 2, 
Page 12 of the Missionary Society Minutes 
records this action. Dues to the Ladies Mis- 
sionary Society were five cents per month 

at this time. Later they were increased to Rev i s Dill 

ten cents per month. 


In August, 1889, Bro. Nelson proposed that a committee be named to look in- 
to the feasibility of starting a mission. In December, 1889, a committee was nam- 
ed to secure a lot in Webbtown and build a chapel. This was to be the first mis- 
sion and was known as the Second Baptist Church. A deed to the lot was record- 
ed May 7, 1890. Many moved to help organize the new church, among them 
were Willis A. Denmark and wife, Emma, and daughter, Clyde Denmark (Mrs. 
J.R. Crawford); Ora Crawford; J.W. Sadler; W.H. Suggs; Mrs. Mary Suggs; R.S. 
Tudor; D.A. Johnson; J.B. Crawford; and others (See page 53 of Minute Book 5 
for full list of members moving, January, 1892). 

J.B. Crawford donated the lot on which the church was built at 512 S. 
Slocumb Street. In 1929, the Second Baptist Church asked for and received a 
deed, subject to its remaining a Baptist Church. This deed was given by Trustees 
George A. Norwood, Chairman; W.G. Britt; J.R. Crawford; W.E. Stroud; and 
H.B. Parker. It was to revert to First Baptist Church if it ceased to be a missionary 

20 P See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


Baptist Church. In 1959 after another request for a clear title by this Mission, a 
quitclaim deed was given by the Trustees who were Charles S. Norwood, Chair- 
man; R.M. Purser; and H.V. Modlin; thus closing out and ending a relation of 
seventy years of the church's first mission. A silver communion set of tankard 
and cup, used by this mission at the turn of the century, was presented to Mrs. 
John R. Crawford in 1930, she being a daughter of Willis Denmark, early 
organizer and leader. She was also a charter member of the Mission. 

;: f- 

First Church Mission, 1889 - Second New Building of Second Baptist Church 1965 
Baptist Church, 512 S. Slocumb Street. 

In March, 1891, the church called Jesse Hartwell Edwards 21p to be its pastor. 
Bro. C.J. Nelson was acting as moderator in the interim. He was still keen, and 
actively serving on many committees and as a delegate to Association Con- 
ferences. He was happy in seeing his church celebrate its Fiftieth Anniversary, 
1843-1893. The church was organized in 1843 with five members; now there 
were 348 (122 males - 226 females). During the past year 78 were baptized, 15 
received by letter, 50 dismissed by letter, 2 deaths, making a total of 41 added to 
the membership. In two years, the Church would recognize Bro. Nelson in a big 
way for his long and faithful service. 

At a special called Conference and Presbytery, Bro. Junius W. Millard was or- 
dained by the church, October 18, 1891. 

In November, 1891, our church was host to the Baptist State Convention for 
the fourth time. Rev. Edwards was host pastor and two of our former pastors, Dr. 
N.B. Cobb and Dr. Columbus Durham, were here as active secretaries of the 
Convention. It was at this Convention that the W.M.U Societies held their first 
annual meeting. An account of the Convention is recorded in our Minute Book. 
The church borrowed that year, $300.00 to balance the budget. J.M. Hollowell 
was named church clerk. Over $300.00 was spent by the Building Committee on 
repairs. In March, 1892, Bro. John T. Edmondson was granted a license to preach 
by the Church in Conference. In August, 1892, the church voted unanimously 
endorsing the decision of Bro. J. Hiram Grant to enter the Christian Ministry. In 
September, 1892, the church was called into Conference for the purpose of or- 
daining Bro. John T. Edmondson who had been called by a Baptist Church in 

Up See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


Fort Barnwell, N.C. C.J. Nelson, J.W. Millard and the pastor, J.H. Edwards, com- 
posed the Presbytery. 

In Nov., 1892, the minutes cited forgiveness of members for being intox- 
icated and heard a report that church members had been engaged in dancing. Ac- 
tion was postponed until the deacons could talk to the members involved. Later a 
motion by W. G. Britt was passed requiring all those cited for drinking to come 
before the church and make their own statement. The minutes record several 
who did come before the church to ask forgiveness for misconduct and failure to 
discharge their obligation and duties to the church. Many charges were brought 
against members during the early nineties and often were investigated. Some 
charges were dropped. Others were dismissed by recommendation that the 
church withdraw fellowship and exclude from membership. Numerous cases in- 
volved not only drinking and dancing but "selling liquor," "disinterest in the 
church," "failure to attend," " failure to contribute," " not in accord with views of 
the church," " contempt of church," "use of profanity," and "conduct unbecoming a 

In May, 1893, a committee was named to look into the feasibility of starting 
another mission in the northern part of the county at Eureka. Bro. Nelson was 
chairman and in later years the mission was established and was named Mt. 
Nelson. In 1893, Emmaus Chapel, 2 miles east of Dudley, was started. 

Emtnaus Baptist Church, 1985 
This is the new church east of Dudley (1803). The old church burned several years ago. The 
late Eugene Roberts, Sr. was pastor of this church ca. 1975. 


In July, 1893, the pastor, J. H. Edwards, resigned to accept a call to Fayet- 
teville, North Carolina. Bros. C. B. Aycock, W. T. Faircloth, J. Y. Joyner were a 
committee to draw up a resolution expressing the regrets of the church at the 
pastor's resignation. 

In Sept., 1893, Rev. Charles A. § 
Jenkens 22 ^ accepted our call and became 
the 22nd pastor of First Baptist Church, j. 
M. Hollowell was named clerk and C. J. 
Rivenbark, Sunday School superintendent. 

A warehouse, which was built by M.J. J. - 

Best and B.G. Thompson and being used 
for the storage of fertilizer, became so ob- 
jectionable to the church that a committee ||- 
of Bros. Aycock, Faircloth and Nelson ap- |j| 
pealed to the City authorities to prevent its 
continued use for this purpose. That . 

warehouse still stands and adjoins our Sun- 
day School property on the west. • 

Our church letter to the Atlantic 
Association in 1893 showed a membership 
of 322, only 126 were males. Eight 
members had been discharged for one of 
several reasons, one being "failure to at- 
tend or show any interest in the church." 
The total Church Budget was $2,551.00. 
Expenses were $1,000.00 pastor's salary; Rev. Charles A. Jenkens 

and $1,313.00 missions - state, foreign and home; and $238.00 miscellaneous 
church expenses. Over 50 percent of budget was for missions. 

At a Church Conference held March 6, 1895, the pastor called Bro. C.J. 
Nelson to the chair. Then Deacon J. E. Peterson read the resignation of the pastor 
C.A. Jenkens. 

On June 5, 1895, Bro. W. Carey Newton 23 P was called. He accepted and 
became our twenty-third pastor. His salary was set at $750.00 a year. He was on- 
ly 21 years of age and was still in the Seminary. Therefore he accepted only for a 
three month term at $62.50 per month. 

In September, 1895, with Bro. C. J. Nelson acting as moderator, a committee 
reported and recommended that the church call Bro. James Long 24 P of Union- 
ville, North Carolina at a salary of $800.00 per year. 

22p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
23p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
24p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
•Purchased by the church in 1980 and razed. 


Rev. W. Carey Newton 

lev. James Long 


A very special event took place in our church on Sunday, August 11, 1895. It 
was "Charles J. Nelson Day." This was the Fifty-Fifth Anniversary of the 
organization of the first Sunday School, which Bro. Nelson organized in 1840 in 
Waynesborough and which later became the First Baptist Church organized in 
1843. Bro. Nelson was the first superintendent, a position he held for 22 years 
without interruption. A special program was arranged for this celebration and an 
eight page brochure was published giving the names of early pastors and Sunday 
School superintendents. Thirteen Sunday School superintendents had served and 
twenty-two pastors to this date. Five members had been ordained to the 
ministry. These and many others were recognized and special tribute was made 
to Mrs. Lizzie Grant for her interest in the infant class. 

In May, 1896, Bro. D. J. Rivenbark was named custodian of the church and 
appointed to provide oil and lamp chimneys for the church and to look after the 
duties of the sexton. Any complaints regarding the work of the sexton should be 
made to Bro. Rivenbark. 

Brother and sister George A. Norwood were received on letter from 
Charleston, S.C. October 4, 1896. 

In 1897, W. G. Britt was finance chairman and E. L. Edmondson was chair- 
man of Mission Funds. Each made their report each month, giving the names and 
amount each had paid into the respective fund. Church enrollment was 340, Sun- 
day School 317, with average attendance 174. Church budget was $3,550.00. The 
church adopted a Church Covenant and Declaration of Faith published by The 


Baptist Publication Society. They ordered 300 copies to distribute to the member- 

Bro. Long resigned December 25, 1898, but agreed to stay on until a new 
pastor could be found. On January 2, 1899, Bro. Charles J. Nelson died, ending a 
life of service and devotion to his God, his church and its people. For 58 years 
Nelson worked at a continuous pace, always leading and shouldering his part of 
any obligation. He was a dedicated Christian. Again it is said that the history of 
our Church does not record another man in the life of the church who gave so 
much for so long a period. Surely he was the Father of the First Baptist Church of 

The church called Bro. W. C. Newton of Geneva, New York, at a salary of 
$900.00 annually plus the use of the parsonage and study, to begin June 1, 1899. 

F. R. Hall was Sunday School superintendent for one year, 1898, and W. J. 
Mathews served for one year, 1899. 

H. B. Parker was received in our church by letter from North Wilkesboro in 
1897. He became Sunday School superintendent in 1900. Mr. Parker will appear 
many times in our church history for the next fifty years. He was Sunday School 
superintendent for 15 years and very active in all church undertakings. 

C. J. Nelson wrote the first history of the church in 1856; J. J. Robinson wrote 
the second history in 1912; and H. B. Parker wrote the third history in 1930. 
More will be said about these histories as our story progressess. 

At the first Church Conference after Bro. Newton arrived, C. B. Aycock was 
named trustee to fill the vacancy made by the death of Bro. C. J. Nelson. A Finan- 
cial Planning Committee was named with W. G. Britt as Chairman and George 
A. Norwood, Major H. L. Grant and J. M. Hollowell assisting members. A com- 
mittee was also named to secure bids for putting sewage into the parsonage. 

Carter H. Jenkens, son of our pastor, C.A. Jenkens, was ordained to the 
ministry. Rev. Jenkens' daughter, Stella, married J.J. Robinson. She was his se- 
cond wife. 

On May 2, 1900 (Book 109, Page 192), E. L. Edmondson and wife, deeded to 
the Trustees of the First Baptist Church, a lot on Bryan Street, 36' x 59', to be us- 
ed for building a mission. The deed cited that if it was not used as a mission, the 
property would divert to the Baptist State Convention. This deed was not record- 
ed until 1912. This was the third mission created by our church. It continued to 
be the property of our church until 1944 when it was deeded by Trustees Charles 
S. Norwood, H. V. Modlin and R. M. Purser, to the Trustees of Bryan Street Bap- 
tist Church. This church is still existing today. 

It was also recommended that our church withdraw from the Atlantic 
Association in order to form and join a new association. Our church was first a 
members of Union Association, 1843-1853, Eastern Association, 1853-1883, 
Atlantic Association, 1883-1901, the Neuse Atlantic Association, 1901-1929, the 
Neuse Association to date, 1985. 



Bryant Mission - 3rd Mission to be established by First Baptist. 

In 1891, three-fifths of all the Baptist churches in the South were without 
Sunday Schools. 


Rev. W. Cary Newton resigned March 1, 1901. Bro. Newton had served the 
church for three months in 1895 when he was only 21 years of age and again 
from October, 1899 to March 1901. He was still only 28. He had a strong desire to 
go as a missionary to China and soon realized this yearning. In 1912, on the 
organization of the Philathea Class of Young Women in the church, they adopted 
as the name of the class, "the Carey Newton Class." While "Philathea" has been 
dropped, the class name continues today, 1985. 

Rev. C.A. Jenkens 25p , a former pastor, was called on March 23, 1901, to fill 
the vacant pulpit. He was preaching in Bristol, Tennessee at the time, but manag- 
ed to return to Goldsboro by April 7, 1901. His salary was set at $1,000.00 an- 

Communion services had been held monthly but now it was decided to hold 
it only quarterly, on the first Sunday in January, April, July and October. 

25p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


The Neuse Atlantic Association was organized and had its first meeting Oc- 
tober, 1901. Delegates elected besides the pastor were J. E. Peterson, George A. 
Norwood, E. W. Cox, H. B. Parker and E. L. Edmondson. 

At a Church Conference held in January 1904, a resolution was passed requir- 
ing the roll call of all male members and a note made of those that were absent. If 
a member was absent for three consecutive meetings, he was required to appear 
before the next Conference and explain his absence. 

Church finances were becoming more of a problem and the Finance Commit- 
tee was asked and authorized to go over the membership list and apportion the 
subscriptions and make such changes as would enable the church to meet its 
obligations more promptly. Letters of dismissal were to be declined unless each 
member met his obligation, unless there were circumstances that justified his 
failure to meet it. In the 1913 Directory there is printed the Financial Regulations 
of the church in which it states "each member is responsible for his just propor- 
tion of the expenses of the church. Any member unable to contribute is excused, 
but any member able and neglecting to do so and found guilty shall be excluded 
from the fellowship of the church for covetousness." 

Bro. Jenkens resigned in 1903 and Rev. W.F. Fry 2615 accepted our call. Bro. 
Fry came from Walnut Street Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky. 

In 1904, under direction of Rev. W.F. 
Fry, there was organized a band of young • ■ ,. 

women who called themselves "The \; „ .w"_'~ 

Earnest Workers." Their minute book is 
still preserved in the church safe. Their ob- 
jective was to raise money for a church 
organ, they met monthly and paid dues. 
They listed thirty men of the church who 
pledged to give $5.00 each. 

In September, 1904, the church 
minutes acknowledge the gift to the church 
of a silver communion set by Mrs. A.S. 
Turner. This is not the first set, which is 
dated 1859, nor the one we use today 
(1970). The present one was a gift of the 
children of Mrs. Lizzie (H.L.) Grant given 
in her memory in 1912. 

Bro. J. D. Whitley and H. B. Parker 
were added to the Board of Deacons in 
March, 1905. 

Bro. Fry baptized and received into the 
church 13 children from the Orphan 
Home, I.O.O.F. 


Sunday Svening, Oct. I!, "/5 03, 

,-•■'•"-■' - y..\tf~^- ,J 30_ o'clock /' : :-y : ..^J 

^llie Public Cordially lnv&!^ 


Devotional Exercises - Rev. J. E. Thompson. 

On part of First baptist Church - J. E. Peterson. 

On part of Methodist Church - Rev. M. Bradshaw. 

On part of Presbyterian Church - Hon. W. C. Munroe. 

On part of City - Mayor George E. Hood. 

On part of Sunday School, First Baptist Church - F. R. Hall. 

On part of Second Baptist Church - Rev. J. B. Jackson. 

Response by Pastor - Rev. W. F. Fry. 


26p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


A committee of three, H. B. Parker, George A. Norwood and H. L. Grant was 
named to raise money to pay "J. R. Crawford insurance bill, John Slaughter roof- 
ing bill and cost of fixing the church fence." 

Rev. Fry notified the church that he had decided to accept a call to Abilene, 

E. L. Edmondson became Sunday School superintendent, a position he held 
for the next five years. 

Our church called Dr. Livingston 

Johnson, but Dr. Johnson declined the call. JllL ' J 

Then days later, a call was extended to 

George T. Watkins' 7 ' 1 of Roxboro, North 

Carolina at a salary of $1,200.00 per year, 

parsonage and moving expenses. Rev. &- 

Watkins accepted April 8, 1908, and began 

the longest ministry the church has ex- H - 

perienced to that date, 14 years. Many 

changes were to take place during Rev. 

Watkins stay. Hosting another State Con- jjj 

vention, building a new church and a §1 

greatly increased membership of the S 

church were the main changes. 

Until 1914 it was the custom that the 
finance chairman for the pastor's salary 
report quarterly his collections. The names 
and amount each member contributed was | 
spread upon the minutes. There was also a jj| 
chairman of the Mission Funds and a com- 1|| 
mittee to raise money to pay expenses of Rev. George T. Watkins 

the church, including the sexton. Now all 

funds were to be combined into one account. Church letter shows membership 
stood at 413 - 163 males, 250 females. J. M. Hollowell was clerk; E. L. Edmond- 
son, Sunday School superintendent; B. F. Carr, secretary; Mrs. R. E. Pipkin, 
W.M.S. president; Sunbeams, Mrs. Petway. The church budget was $3,000.00. 

In 1912, Goldsboro now had a population of over 6,000 and was building its 
first hospital building. A new Court House was built in 1914. 

"The first Royal Ambassador Chapter organized in North Carolina was 
organized by Mrs. W. M. Petway, a member of our church, according to Evan W. 
Norwood who was a members of the first Chapter. It was organized in 1908. 
Mrs. Petway came home hurriedly from the State Convention after receiving the 
inspiration and organized the first group, then returned to the Convention in 
time to report her accomplishment before the meeting was over." This is the way 
Catherine Mathews Ham records the event in her secretary's book. She also has a 
picture of Mrs. W. M. Petway as well as many other pictures of early church 
leaders. E. W. Norwood was a missionary to China, 1925-1936. 

27p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


W.E. Stroud was elected church clerk, June, 1909, following J.M. Hollowell 
who had served for 30 years. In Conference, October, 1909, the church agreed 
that Best & Thompson might use 8 inches of church property for foundation of 
their warehouse in order that the warehouse wall would be on the line. 


On January 16, 1910, a motion was made by Bro. J. E. Peterson that a fund be 
started to erect a new brick church building. Six thousand six hundred and 
seventy-five dollars ($6,675.00) was pledged at the first meeting. Additional 
trustees elected were as follows: George A. Norwood, L. N. Grant, F. B. Edmond- 
son, F. T. Banks and E. L. Edmondson. H. B. Parker was elected secretary and J. 
E. Peterson was elected treasurer of the Building Fund. 

For more than a year a strong and determined drive for funds to build a 
church was made. H. B. Parker, secretary, made a strong appeal to the town and 
received a very favorable response from leading citizens of all faiths. A record is 
still kept of those non-church members and their contribution. On February 1, 
1911, the committee felt like proceeding with plans. 

It was decided to use the site of the parsonage on John Street, just south of the 
church. J. N. McMichael of Charlotte, a Baptist, was chosen as the architect. W. 
J. Mathews, a church member, was chosen as the contractor. Mr. Mathews, a 



■:«¥■■=,: =-:£ 


W. J. Mathews 


' ' ■. ■ ■ ■ ■ ':'...'■ , :. .'.':..:'■: 

. ' ' •■ ; "'.'■■ ..,:• 

J. N. McMichael 


native of Buncombe County, had been the first student to enroll at State College 
when it opened in 1889. He was received in our church membership in 1897. He 
married Miss Irene Peterson, daughter of J. E. Peterson, long time deacon of the 
church. Mr. Mathews was credited with owning the first automobile in 
Goldsboro about 1905. He lived to be 97 years of age and attended church 
regularly to within two months of his death in August, 1967. 

Front, side and back of church under construction, 1912. 


The Elegant and Commodious House of Worship of the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro. 

December 3-6, 1912. 

H. L. Grant offered to buy the old church property for $8,500 and allow the 
church to continue to use it until the new church was completed. This proposal 
was accepted. 

In October, 1912, the Building Committee was running out of funds and 
found it necessary to borrow eight thousand dollars ($8,000) to complete the 
work. A loan was secured from the City of Goldsboro for this amount. 

Our church had invited the State Convention to meet with us that year so all 
were excited over whether the church would be completed by the set date of 
December 3-6, 1912. Only by a concerted effort on the part of all members the 
church was completed, except for the basement area, (now the Social Room), just 
one week before the Convention dates. Judge D. H. Bland was appointed to 
make the address of welcome. Committee chairmen named at the October, 1912 
conference for the Convention were as follows: J. E. Peterson, Hospitality; G. A. 
Norwood, Reception; H. B. Parker, Information; W. J. Mathews, Heating and 
Lighting; F. B. Edmondson, Post Office; L. N. Grant, General Utility. 


J. J. Robinson, past superintendent of Sunday School, was forty-one years a 
teacher and a deacon. He wrote a history of the church that was published in the 
papers throughout the State. Copies of the Charlotte Observer and the Biblical 
Recorder that carried stories of the church and the coming convention are still 
in our files. Pictures of the new church were also spread on front pages of the 

It was several years after that H. B. Parker, who was a driving force during 
the building of the church, gave us in his history the best account of the events, 
before and during the building of the church. He also gave more details than are 
found in the church records. He told about a Sunday, February 9, 1911, when 
Mr. N. B. Broughton of Raleigh preached such a strong appeal that $15,000 was 
pledged on that very day. 

Seated (left to right): J.E. Peterson, Chariman Board of Deacons and Treasurer Building 

Committee; G.T. Watkins, pastor since April 1, 1908; W.G. Britt. 
Standing (left to right): John D. Whitley; E.L. Edmundson, Chairman Building Committee; 

R.E. Pipkin; H.L. Graham; H.B. Parker, Superintendent of Sunday School and Secretary of 

Building Committee; D.J. Rivenbark. 

Construction was started in July, 191 1, with Pastor George T. Watkins laying 
the first brick. It was a struggle to meet the weekly payroll for more than one 
year, the building being completed in late November, 1912. The final cost of the 
building was approximately $43,000, exclusive of lot which was already owned 
and paid for. Seven thousand dollars was still owed on the loan from the City. 
In December, 1919, the last of the loan was paid and Major Grant presided over a 
mortgage burning held in the sanctuary of the church. The Central Building 
Committee was J. E. Peterson, Treasurer; H. B. Parker, Secretary; and E. L. Ed- 
mondson, Chairman. 


After the State Convention, the first baptismal Service was held in the new 
church on May 11, 1913. There was quite a large group to be baptized as services 
had been interrupted due to the move to the new church. Jerome Mathews, son 
of W. J. Mathews, the church builder, was honored by being the first one of the 
group baptized in the new church. The writer of these notes and his brother, 
Hart Norwood, were among the number. Also included were Mary Crawford 
and her sister, Berta Crawford, Edward L. Edmondson, Jr., Sudie Creech and 

As in most church building, something had to be left undone, since money 
ran out. It was five years later that the present social room was completed. It was 
called "the basement," but on completion it was a Sunday School department for 
juniors. Small classrooms were partitioned off on all sides, with curtains, a large 
assembly room was in the center. This department continued in this location un- 
til 1936 when the present Education Building was purchased. Both the writer 
and his wife taught and were Junior Department superintendents in this location 
prior to 1936. 

The new church, with the old original church bell in place, was beautiful in- 
side and out. The interior of the church was decorated by a New York artist, by 
the name of Paul Olsen. He painted an elaborate ceiling decoration and gold let- 
tered bible verses over a door leading to the pulpit. He painted the canvas of 
Jesus in Gethsemane, which was first on the wall behind the pulpit, and now 
adorns our north wall. Olsen's contract for this work was $460.00. Many changes 
were made in the interior when the sanctuary was renovated in 1960, but we will 
talk about that later. Now we must return to the church of 1912. 

Jiff llll. The many memorial gifts that were 

^ , f given and contributed so much to the beau- 

ty of the church should be described at this 
point. The large central stained glass win- 
dow in the south wall of Jesus the Good 
Shepard was a gift by J.E. Peterson in 
memory of his son, W. Henry Peterson. To 
the right, John the Baptist Baptizing 
Jesus is the Grant memorial by Major and 
Mrs. Hiram L. Grant. To the left, Jesus 
and Mary Magdalene - this window was 
given as a memorial to Mrs. William 
Robinson, nee Eliza Davis, by her son, Dr. 
M.E. Robinson. The three stained glass 
windows on the east wall (the rear) are 
memorials to Mrs. Bertha Carr, E.L. Ed- 
mondson Family, and the Keaton Family. 
A.H. Keaton was a deacon in 1870 under 
Rev. Sanderlin and Rev. Ivey. He was the 
father of Mrs. Lois Keaton Edmondson and 
HP llli Mrs. Cora Keaton Fonville (Mrs. Eugene 

Jesus in Gethsemane w.) and Mrs. Anne Keaton Fonville (Mrs. 

by Paul Olsen 

■■ %\y:': ■.' : ';' : -- : ; ' : ■:■ ■■:"■■:. : : '::' 



Sanctuary Before the Renovation 

L.O.), all long time members of the church. Mr. Keaton was a merchant of old 
Waynesborough. In the north vestibule there are four memorial windows. The 
first window is a memorial to Sallie Hall Pipkin, wife of R.E. Pipkin, who was a 
deacon in 1912. She was the mother of Annie Pipkin Yelverton. The second win- 
dow is a memorial to Susan D. Pettiway, who was a sister of J.J. Robinson. She 
was born in 1839 and was baptized in our church in 1869 by George W. 
Sanderlin. She was a teacher in our Sunday School for many years. The third 
window is a memorial to J.M. Hollowell, who for 30 years was our church clerk, 
Sunday School teacher, trustee, deacon and town historian. He wrote many ar- 
ticles of the early days in Goldsboro, particularly during the Civil War. A 
number of his articles were put in booklet form and published in 1938. Many 
quotes from his history are used in this account. He served in the State 
Legislature and was a city alderman. He was born in Everettesville in 1840 and 
died in 1912 just two months before our church was completed, J.H. Manley, his 
nephew, Mrs. J.C. Pate, and Mrs. Julia Jackson, his nieces, are present members 
of our church. The fourth window is a memorial to Dr. M.L. Hooper. On the 
walls of the south vestibule we have the Williams memorial. This is the first 
stained glass window on the left of the entrance. The second stained glass win- 
dow is a memorial to Annie D. Smith, who was the wife of W.M. Smith, a long 


time deacon of the church. She was born in 1855 and died in 1908. The Philathea 
and Barraca Classes, led by D.L. Cuthrell, T.A. Henley, J.D. Whitley and Miss 
Carrie Dorrity, were both organized in 1909. These classes gave the next two 
windows. These were the names of classes of young women and men of the 
church and the names were adopted and used on a State-wide level. D.L. 
Cuthrell was a State officer of Barraca, as well as our Sunday School superintend- 
ent (1915-1922). He came to Goldsboro from Enfield, North Carolina in 1903 and 
served our church in many offices. He is now close to 90 years of age. In 1916 the 
State Annual Barraca Convention was held in our church and there was an 
elaborate picture made of the group on the Court House Square. Before our 
church sanctuary was renovated in 1960, there was a stained glass window in the 
north wall of the sanctuary as a memorial to our founder, Charles J. Nelson. This 
window was removed but the nameplate was moved to the Barraca window in 
the south vestibule. 

Mrs. William Robinson W. Henry Peterson Grant Memorial 

Beautiful stain glass windows on south wall of sanctuary. 

At the time the church was completed in December, 1912, a new communion 
set was presented to the church in memory of Mrs. Lizzie (H. L.) Grant by her 
children. This set is still in use but has been added to as the church had grown in 
members. A marble flower stand was given by Mayor John Higgins in memory of 
his parents, Dr. H. B. Higgins and wife, Ann. This table is still in use in the Laura 
Harrell Chapel. 

O. L. Ipock was elected church clerk in 1915. Capt. D. H. Graves, our church 
treasurer, died in July, 1917. He had been our treasurer since 1911. 


1st Philathea Class - Mrs. E.L. Edmondson, teacher; C 

1st Baraca Class - George Watkins, teacher; D.L. Cuthrell, organizer. 



>-4 s 

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% m 

Annual State Convention of Baraca - Philathea Goldsboro, April 1916. 





liilf .' Ifllff ift t : t pitpitlf f|! 

Mrs. Lora Suggs Class 
Seated, left to right: Ella Smith, Sudie Creech, Mrs. W.C. Suggs, teacher, Julia Mae Roberts, 
Bertha Crawford. Standing, Mary Poplin, Mary Grace Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, Helene 
Griffin, Annie Grady, Ethel Waters, Mildred Smith. 

The State Convention of November, 1919, inaugurated the $75 Million Cam- 
paign. Our church went after new members in a great visitation drive, with a 
determination to pay off local church debts before entering our State $75 Million 

Rev. Watkins resigned October 9, 1912, just as we employed our first pastor's 
aid, Miss Martha Sizemore. Bro. George Norwood, chairman of the Building 
Committee, was asked to get the exterior woodwork of the church painted. 

In 1922 our church received as a memorial gift, a very fine bulletin board 
from the W.V. Williams family. This board is still in use. This is the only outdoor 
bulletin board we have ever had and it has served for almost 60 years. A son, Em- 
mett Williams, is a member of our church today. 

Dr. Zeno Wall 28 ? of Clinton, Mississippi was called to be our 28th pastor. He 
accepted and came on June 8, 1922. Miss Sizemore started her work the same 
month. Dr. Wall was a great preacher and had a most successful year in 1922 - 
140 new members, 72 by baptism and 68 by letter. Our budget was over $ 16,000. 
We had a total of 928 members. Goldsboro was now a city of over 12,000 people. 

28 P See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


In July, 1923, Dr. Wall conducted a 
Revival on North John Street in the Currin 
Warehouse. This was well received and 
was considered a great success. Our only 
revival held outside our church. 

Martha Sizemore, after two years ser- 
vice, resigned to go elsewhere. The detail- 
ed report of her stay in Goldsboro was 
spread upon the chuch minutes as a 
testimony of what one person can do. Rev. 
Barney M. Thames was her replacement. 
He came from Clinton, Mississippi. 

In April, 1925, the church purchased a 
new parsonage, the house of Robert D. 
Parrott at 404 E. Walnut St. Money was 
borrowed from the Goldsboro Building 
and Loan and a bank. A deed was recorded 
for the lot,, 71.5' x 225' from R. D. Parrott 
to G. A. Norwood, W. G. Britt and H. B. 
Parker, Trustees for the First Baptist 
Church, in Book 177, Page 80 of the Wayne 
County Registry, April 5, 1925. This was to 

be the parsonage for the next 38 years, until our present parsonage at 1903 E. 
Walnut Street was built in 1963. The lot on which the new parsonage stands was 
purchased from the Presbyterian Church for $8,000. 

Dr. Zeno Wall 

404 E. Walnut Street - Parsonage 1925 


■:' V: ' 



Dr. Wall resigned as of October 1, 1925. S. F. Teague was elected Sunday 
School superintendent and M. A. Shaver, clerk. Judge D. H. Bland rendered a fit- 
ting resolution in expressing the church's regret in losing Dr. Zeno Wall after four 
years of real progress in our church. He stated that more than 450 had been add- 
ed to our membership during Dr. Wall's ministry of 3 years and 5 months. (Page 
289 of Book No. 8, Church Records contains the full text of Judge Bland's resolu- 

Rev. C. V. Brooks 29p of Second Baptist Church in Goldsboro became interim 
pastor, November 1, 1925. 

On March 26, 1926, the church voted > ^-mmmmm^mmmmm 

to call Rev. A. J. Smith 30p of Franklin, 1 
North Carolina. He accepted and began his 
ministry May 2, 1926. At the first evening 
service, preachers of the other churches in ||||| 
the city were present to welcome Bro. |||| 
Smith to Goldsboro. Among those present 
were Rev. J. D. Daniels of St. Paul 
Methodist Church, Rev. Peter Mclntyre of 
the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Omer of the 
Christian Church, R. E. Hough of Kennedy 
Home, Rev. Williams of Second Baptist j||jj 
Church and Rev. Parks of Free Will Baptist 
Church. Mayor Zeno Hollowell |||| 
represented the city. All spoke words of 
welcome. This was a repeat Welcome Ser- 
vice for Rev. Smith of one that was held 
October 1 1 , 1903 for Dr. Fry. 

Until this date the church had no writ- 
ten by-laws, or constitution, but on page 
315 of the Church Record Book No. 8 is 
found a one page "Proposed Plan of Work" 
which was adopted and became the by-laws for many years to follow. It was 
twenty-five years later in 1951 that a By-Laws Committee was named, composed 
of D. N. Alexander, Roy Sasser and Charles S. Norwood. They proposed two 
ideas of government - one a single board and the other of two governing boards. 
The Board of Deacons would plan and execute the spiritual activities of the 
Church. The Budget Finance Board would plan and execute the financial needs, 
and care for the physical plant and properties. The two board government was 
adopted after the Committee reported that they had studied plans throughout the 
State and found more churches using the dual system. As the church grew, it was 
means of employing more members into the affairs of the church. Of course, 
there was a provision for a quarterly joint meeting of the two boards for joint ac- 
tion on matters that required church approval. This was called the "Advisory 
Council," similar to the one A. J. Smith introduced in 1926 which was composed 
of department representation. 

Rev. Alfred J. Smith 

29p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 
30 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


These By-Laws have stood intact for the most part although there was a revi- 
sion in 1963 and in 1968. There was a very determined effort in 1968 to do away 
with the Advisory Council, but after amendments were made to alleviate a 
duplication of meetings, the by-laws stood intact in principle. 

For the next ten to twelve years our Record Book No. 8 not only contained 
deacon meetings and conference minutes, but recorded a week by week account 
of church activity. Mr. M. A. Shaver, clerk, started this running history on Oc- 
tober 1, 1925, and continued it for eight years. Then Mr. Guion Lee, who follow- 
ed Shaver, continued reporting in the same manner. The record shows that Mrs. 
J. H. Manley organized and opened the first nursery in the church in 1926. Annie 
Mildred Kelly (Mrs. William Ginn) was perhaps the first financial secretary 
employed by the church. She was employed in 1928 and served for only one 
year. Miss Ethel Liles came to our church as secretary in 1935 and stayed until 

S.F. Teague resigned as Sunday School superintendent after three and a half 
years and R.V. Pate was elected to this position. W.G. Britt, Finance Committee 
chairman, resigned after twenty-five years service and H.L. Graham was named 
his replacement. 

In September, 1928, the church conducted a city wide religious census under 
the direction of L.L. Morgan, who had moved to Goldsboro. He was a State Con- 
vention Sunday School employee. The Sunday School enrollment now exceeded 
one thousand and classes were held in every corner of the church. Even the old 
parsonage was converted into classrooms. It had been pulled to the rear of the lot 
when the new church was built. The Grant Building, which was built in 1914 by 
Major Grant on the old church lot, had changed hands and was not doing so well 
financially. In fact, the great "Stock Market Bust" of 1929 was being felt by all. 
The church was glad to find empty space in the building for its overflow and the 
"Professional Building" was glad to have the church as one of its tenants. 

W.G. Britt died October 16, 1929. This great loss to the church was expressed 
in a resolution spread in the minutes on Page 350 of Record Book No. 8. Mrs. 
A.V. Washburn began her service as church financial secretary on January 1, 
1931. She and her husband, A.V. Washburn, who soon served as Sunday School 
superintendent, following R.V. Pate, devoted the next twenty years of their lives 
in continuous service. 

In October, 1929, the Great Stock Market Bust took its toll in Goldsboro. 
Business was bad. People could not pay their debts or church pledges. Church 
salaries were cut almost in half. It was a difficult time, but by adjusting our 
spending to our reduced income we managed to continue our ministry. 

Not until 1930 and 1931 did the depression cause our local banks to close. 
Then in 1932, President Roosevelt called for the Bank Holiday that closed all the 
banks in the country. It was a sad time and a time we would all like to forget. On- 
ly those who lived through it can appreciate the good times we have enjoyed ever 
since. As business recovered, so did our church activity and the City started 


growing again. Our church conducted a city wide religious census that revealed 
1975 possibilities for Baptist church membership. We had 1100 enrolled in Sun- 
day School under M.A. Shaver, superintendent, but only 900 average attendance. 
We had classroom facilities for 800. D.L. Cuthrell was chairman of the Board of 
Deacons and Wm. Lewis Bullock was minister of music, H. V. Modlin served one 
year as Sunday School superintendent just prior to M.A. Shaver's election in 
1937. Other church leaders during the depression years were L.R. Thomas and 
Roy J. Parker. By 1940, the City had a population of 17,250. 

In 1932 we were in the depths of the depression. The Church found it 
necessary to cut many expenses. Rev. Smith's salary had been $4,000 per year for 
six years but he cut it to $2,760. Our over-all budget was down to $14,250. Our 
budget dropped to $10,400 the next year. It had been $20,585 in 1925. The 
church membership was 1143; Sunday School enrollment was 973. Goldsboro 
was now a city of 15,000 people. 

During the depths of the depression, a large number of the school children 
came to school without sufficient food. A.J. Smith was concerned and decided he 
would feed them, single handed, with soup. For weeks he gathered vegetables, 
meat, and bones at the supermarket at very little cost. He was a good cook and 
enjoyed cooking. Our church kitchen was soon tabbed the "Soup Kitchen" and 
the entire church took on the aroma of vegetable soup as he turned it out by the 
tens of gallons. Many ladies of the church lent a hand in preparing the food. 

Mrs. Fred Harrell became active in the church by leading and directing 
"Pageants" in the Sunday School and in WMU. She was later named president of 
WMU and served for several years. Guion Lee was elected church clerk. Mr. 
H.V. Modlin was chairman of the Finance Committee. Others serving with him 
were George Waters, Jesse Hinson, H.B. Parker, B.F. Carr, G.A. Norwood, John 
R. Crawford, H.L. Graham and Charles S. Norwood. S.F. Teague was elected 
Sunday School superintendent for a new term. At his request for more Sunday 
School space, a committee was named to investigate the possibility of securing 
additional property. Charles S. Norwood was first appointed as a member of the 
Finance Committee in 1935-39. He was elected Trustee in 1938 (June 12) to 
replace G.A. Norwood, his father, who had served as Trustee from 1910 to 1938. 
Charles S. Norwood was elected deacon in 1937. 

Our church adopted the unified budget system, (being the first church in 
N.C. to do so), and started setting aside each week in reserve according to the 
ratio each item in the budget had to the total budget. Rev. Smith proposed a plan 
of tithing as the best approach to meeting the budget. G.A. Norwood was named 
a director of Goldsboro Hospital, our church being entitled to name one member 
of this board. Mr. Norwood had been chairman of the Hospital Building Commit- 
tee when the hospital was being built in 1912, the same time our church was be- 
ing built. 

The first Sunday School Enlargement Campaign was held in 1926, with E.L. 
Middleton of the State Board, and W.A. Harrell from Nashville, Tenn., in charge. 
Our Sunday school was the first in the State to departmentalize. 


On May 3, 1936, Rev. A.J. Smith completed his tenth year as pastor. The 
church, with Mrs. John R. Crawford presiding, responded with speakers from 
every department of the church. 

On October 28, 1936, the church in conference heard a report from a commit- 
tee that had been appointed to study the church membership roll. This commit- 
tee recommended that 150 members be dropped and erased from the roll due to 
absence and loss of address. The roll in Record Book No. 8 shows this date 
stamped beside the 150 names dropped. 

Our Greenleaf Mission was started in 1934. Mrs. J.L. Kelly was in charge of 
this mission. It was located on Frank Street and was a frame church acquired 
from the Morman church. Deeds were not recorded until 1943, when the proper- 
ty was deeded to Charles S. Norwood, R.M. Purser and M.V. Modlin, Trustees 
for First Baptist Church. This mission lasted until 1960, when it was deeded to 
the Victory Baptist Church. They sold the property and started a new organiza- 
tion the same year. 

Our record book of events stated that on Mothers Day, May 7, 1937, Dr. An- 
nie Dove Denmark, then president of Anderson College, S.C., spoke to the 
church as guest speaker at the morning hour. Dr. Denmark, after twenty-five 
years as president of Anderson College, retired and returned to Goldsboro to live 
in 1953. She had made a great contribution to the church in leadership, serving as 
president of WMU, speaker on special occasions, including the dedication of the 
new renovaed sanctuary, and leader of a weekly morning prayer group which 
she had led for a number of years. 



Due to the increasing attendance at Sunday School, a committee was named 
to consider building additional buildings on the rear of the church lot. Plans were 
proposed and the Sunday School Board was contacted and asked for aid in 
developing the plans, but these plans were dropped when a new proposal was 
made in March, 1938. 

At a special meeting called on March 7, 1938, Pastor A.J. Smith and Charles S. 
Norwood presented a plan to purchase the Professional Building and convert it 
into a Education Building. After a lengthy discussion, Charles Norwood was 
authorized to go to Richmond, Va. to make an offer to the Life Insurance Com- 
pany of Virginia for the purchase of the building, which they now owned due to a 
recent foreclosure. Ten days later, at another called meeting, Norwood reported 
he had purchased the building for the church for $31,000 - $5,000 cash payment 
and the balance of $26,000 to be paid at the rate of $185.00 per month, with in- 
terest at the rate of 5 percent. Details of the transaction may be read in Record 
Book No. 8, Page 453 & 454, telling of full approval by the church in conference. 
In July, 1938, a deed to the property was recorded from Life Insurance Co. of 


Virginia to Charles S. Norwood, H.V. Modlin and R.M. Purser, Trustees of the 
First Baptist Church of Goldsboro. As the building was approximately fifty per- 
cent vacant at the time, the church immediately made use of this space. 
Crawford-Norwood Company was named agent to continue to rent the other half 
of the building to existing tenants. With this arrangement of joint use, the rent 
provided the means for the church to meet monthly payments. This continued 
until the building was paid for in 1945. The original $5,000 was the only money 
the church put into the venture until it was remodeled in 1945, and again in a 
major renovation in 1965. 

In 1945, partitions were removed to make assembly rooms on each floor. The 
entrance foyer was decorated and new lighting fixtures were installed. Im- 
provements made over the next five years totaled $35,000.00. 

In 1965, the building received extensive renovation. The exterior front was 
changed. The entire building was replastered. The first floor was rearranged and 
rebuilt inside, creating our conference room which was named for Ben Bur- 
roughs and D.N. Alexander, who played important parts in our financial pro- 
gram. This renovation program cost $95,000.00, more than three times the cost 
of the building in 1938. When the building was built by Major Grant in 1914 it 
had cost $65,000 plus $8,500 for the land. 

Picture of Education Building after last restoration in 1965. 


After the first renovation, the building was known as "The Educational 
Building of the First Baptist Church." Soon after Mr. Smith died in 1950, move- 
ment and plans were made to change the name to "The A.J. Smith Education 
Building." A committee was named to have Mr. Pridgen of Troy, N.C. paint a 
portrait of Mr. Smith, which hangs in the foyer of the building. On Sunday, 
January 1, 1955, a dedication service was held. 

Rev. Wm. Cary Newton, former pastor of our church in 1895 and again in 
1900 and since then missionary to China for 37 years, returned to our church 
again to preach on November 11, 1938. He also visited us in 1928. Dr. Newton 
received his D.D. from Wake Forest in 1925. He lived to be 90 years of age. He 
died in Richmond, Virginia in 1965. 

War clouds brought planes and airmen to our newly created Seymour 
Johnson Air Field in 1942. More than 250,000 men were trained here during 
World War II. The air field started as a Municipal Airport and was named for a 
local flyer who had just lost his life testing a new plane for the Navy. The field 
was taken over by the Air Force, but the name of Seymour Johnson was retained. 

Airmen were seen everywhere on the streets of Goldsboro, especially on Sun- 
day. Rev. Smith had an idea and put it into practice - inviting the men to our 
church for Sunday morning breakfast. He was the cook and was assisted by Roy 
Parker. The airmen soon found their way to our church kitchen by the hundreds. 
Many of them stayed on for church services. Mrs. Ham's scrapbook shows a pic- 
ture of a large group of airmen who became regular attendants. Besides the 
breakfast, Mr. Smith was kept busy counseling and working with the military on 
many levels. 

ps,>.~ gp 

Soldiers encamped at Seymour Johnson Field during WW II (1943-45). 
Our church served them snack suppers on Sunday. 


Mrs. Hattie Farrior Criser, a devoted and long time member of our church, 
died and named our church as the beneficiary of her entire estate. The estate, 
valued at approximately $10,000.00, was divided, part to local use, and part to 
Foreign and State Missions. Mr. Smith, who was administrator of the estate used 
his allotted fee to purchase a set of chimes as a memorial to Mrs. Criser. These 
chimes, which were installed in 1943, were rebuilt in 1968 after 25 years of use 
and are still in use. 

Mr. H.B. Parker wrote a history of our church from its organization in 1843. 
It was the most complete account up to that date. It included Bro. Charles 
Nelson's first history of 1856 and contained most of J.J. Robinson's history of 
1912. Bro. Parker's history was published in the Goldsboro News-Argus in 
1930. This is the only record of Mr. Parker's history in print that I have been able 
to find. In 1943, Mildred Edmondson Greene, daughter of E.L. Edmondson and 
Lois Keaton Edmondson, wrote a history in our Church bulletin of December 26, 
1943. As the preceding historians have done, I also have incorporated events 
from their writings into this history. However, I have not relied entirely on their 
record but have checked many sources and found sufficient material to enlarge 
on the story of years gone by of the life of our church from the early church 

In 1946, Charles S. Norwood was named chairman of the Board of Deacons. 
A ten year celebration of the founding of the Greenleaf Mission was held and 
new interest in the mission was shown by the purchase of additional land and a 
renovation of the chapel on Frank Street in North Goldsboro. 

Rev. Eugene Olive, pastor of Wake Forest Church, led us in a week's revival 
service. A campaign for a church kindergarten was led by Mrs. John L. Hender- 
son, Mrs. S.H. Hocutt and Mrs. Frank Seymour. It was one of the first church 
kindergartens in the City. Mrs. Loren Pate was the first director. 

O.C. Liles was a man of many services to the communi- 
ty. In addition to running the Community Building, he 
was treasurer for the curb market housed in the build- 
ing. On Sunday morning he would use some of the curb 
market money to make change for children attending 
Sunday School at First Baptist Church. In this 1947 pic- 
ture he is shown making change for Mrs. Robert L. 
Denmark, Jr., and her children, Delia and Judy. 


Miss Mildred Crowder, who had been employed a year earlier as music 
director and young people's worker, was now presenting outstanding musical 
programs. Mrs. W.F. Mintz was the organist. She replaced Mrs. J.C. Pate who 
had served many years as organist (1912-1946). J.C. Pate, her husband, served as 
Sunday School secretary for twenty years. 

A drive for world relief resulted in our church mailing a check for $1,720.00 
to the Southern Baptist Convention to apply on their goal of $4,000.00. Our 
church at the same time was trying to raise $6,000 for the renovation of our social 
room and kitchen. This was completed a few years later. 

W. Carroll Bryan was elected chairman of our Board of Deacons in 1947. 
M.A. Shaver was Sunday School superintendent. Attendance was 500, or more, 
each Sunday and growing. Our budget was $42,358. 

In 1947 our church collected for world relief, 1415 lbs. or fifty boxes, of 
clothing, requiring two trucks to deliver it. 

A great and successful Sunday School enlargement campaign was held under 
Mr. L.L. Morgan's direction. Using eight other out of state workers, a city wide 
census was the main event. Three hundred and thirty local workers from all 
church denominations joined in the effort. 

In 1947 was the year of the Goldsboro Centennial. For a full week the entire 
City was in a celebrating mood. It started on Sunday, with all churches joining in. 
Our pastor, Rev. A.J. Smith, played a very important role from the first 
Rededication Service on Sunday to the street parade on the last day. A pageant, 
telling the story of Goldsboro, was shown each night with hundreds of local 
citizens taking part. The News- Argus Centennial Edition was a masterpiece, car- 
rying pictures and histories that are referred to today. Histories of all the chur- 
ches in the county and events affecting the city's growth are related there. It was 
the source of many accounts in this narrative. 

Christmas week, Henry Brown and Dan Trueblood, both members of our 
church and both radio experts, installed amplifiers on Hotel Goldsboro balcony 
and ran wires through the block to our church, where each afternoon at five 
o'clock in the evening, our choir, under leadership of Lewis Bullock, met and 
sang Christmas Carols. Late shoppers for blocks in four directions could hear the 
live music. Following Lewis Bullock, Earle Stapleton directed our choir for one 
year. Andy Griffith, of T.V. fame, and his wife, Barbara, were both in our choir 
the year they taught in our High School. They both had good voices and often 
sang solos. Andy directed the choir the last six months he was in Goldsboro. 

Mrs. Andrew J. Smith was our church treasurer that year and B.G. Stowe was 
budget secretary. Mrs. A.V. Washburn was financial secretary and church clerk. 
Mrs. A.J. Smith was president of the WMU. 

The Paul Edmondson Men's Bible Class financed the painting of our sanc- 
tuary. Dr. Broadus Jones of Raleigh was our guest preacher for a week long 
revival in May. 


Miss Gloria Mayer, a graduate of Meredith College, accepted our call to be 
director of the young peoples activities. Dr. L.D. Johnson led a series of classes 
and lectures for young people about this time. The Johnson Homes Mission was 
started with Mr. P.D. Buck as its first leader. 

In 1949, Mr. Smith ended his 23rd year as our pastor. B.G. Stowe was elected 
chairman of the Board of Deacons. M.A. Shaver was Sunday School superinten- 
dent and Mrs. Charles S. Norwood was president of WMU. 

In January, 1949, the church received as a memorial to George A. Norwood 
and Louise Hart Norwood, from their children, two silver candelabra to be used 
in our communion services. 

Our church opened, for the first time, a church library on June 1, 1949. In our 
new Sunday School building a place was provided on the ground floor to the left 
of the main entrance. In the first few months it boasted an inventory of 1,000 
books. During the last renovation of the Education Building (1965) the library 
was moved to the second floor to give more room for the new Church office. 


Now the library is located next to our conference room in our expanded office complex - 

On May 1, Mr. Smith's twenty-third anniversary as pastor of our church was 
a time of counting our blessings and our accomplishments. Mr. Shaver reported 
for the Sunday School - 9 departments, 36 classes and an enrollment of 1155. 
Miss Gloria Mayer reported 125 youths in Training Union. Mrs. Norwood 
reported, for the WMU, a membership of 260, 11 circles and the year's gifts of 


$6,186.00 for missions. Our church membership was 1005. Our church property 
was valued at $370,000. Our annual budget was $34,544. Music was under the 
direction of Mrs. W.F. Mintz, nee Elizabeth Smith, daughter of our pastor. 

Rev. A.J. Smith's Twenty-third Anniversary as pastor of First Baptist Church 

Mr. and Mrs. John Robert Crawford's Golden Wedding Anniversary, March 8, 1949 


Mrs. Fred Harrell gave an inspiring account of Mr. Smith's 23 years of 
ministry. It is recorded in our Church Bulletin of May 1, 1949. Other tributes to 
Mr. Smith and more details of his life are found in Biographical Sketches of 
Pastors of First Baptist Church in Part II. 

In 1950, D.N. Alexander was elected chairman of the Board of Deacons, and 
J.B. Burroughs, vice chairman. 

A city wide revival was held in March at the Goldsboro High School 
auditorium with Dr. G. Ray Jordan of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, as the 
guest minister. Shortly afterwards Mr. Smith became ill and was out of the pulpit 
for two months. During this period we had many guest speakers including 
deacons W. Powell Bland, John L. Henderson and M.A. Shaver. These and others 
held evening worship. Some of the guest preachers were Dr. Frederick Jones, Dr. 
Zeno Wall, Dr. W.C. Reed, Dr. L.D. Johnson of Danville, Va., Dr. Clyde Turner, 
Dr. Carlyle Campbell, Rev. James W. Ray, Dr. B.W. Spillmon and Dr. Broadus 

On May 7, 1950 Mr. Smith returned to his pulpit for his 24th anniversary. He 
was granted another leave of absence so he could go to his Swansboro home to 
regain his strength. On May 21 he returned to Goldsboro to preach his last ser- 
mon and celebrate his 61st birthday. The next day he entered the hospital for an 
operation which he did not survive. He died early in the morning, May 28, 1950. 
Newspaper accounts of Mr. Smith's death and a personal letter to friends from 
Mrs. Smith can be read in the Church Scrapbook of church mementos. On Mon- 
day Mr. Smith's body lay in state before his pulpit At three in the afternoon his 
funeral was conducted by Dr. Eugene Olive of Wake Forest Church, Rev. James 
McChesney of the First Presbyterian Church of Goldsboro and Rev. Dean Bergan 
of the Neuse Association. The inspiring service included congregation singing 
and scripture reading. At the conclusion of the service the family and friends 
marched out of the church singing as they departed. Many businesses closed 
their doors and the Superior Court adjourned in respect to the deceased. 
Goldsboro and the church had lost their leader, friend and pastor. 

Rev. Jack Bracey had been employed early 
in May to preach for Mr. Smith during the sum- 
mer months. He arrived one week after Mr. 
Smith's death to fill the pulpit as supply pastor 
until September. Our Pulpit Committee was 
named and they began the task of finding a new 

Mrs. A.V. Washburn resigned after 16 years 
of service as church clerk and financial 
secretary. A.V. Washburn, her husband, served 
our church for many years as deacon and Sun- 
day School superintendent. A wonderful tribute 
to Mr. & Mrs. Washburn, written by Mrs. Fred 
Harrell, is found in our Church Bulletin, 
September 24, 1950. 

Mrs. A. V. Washburn 


Jack Bracey left in September 
and Dr. Frederick Jones of Kinston 
became supply pastor as of 
November 1, 1950. 

Wednesday, December 6, 
1950, was declared a memorial 
Day for Reverend A.J. Smith. Each 
hour on the hour, from nine to six, 
the church bell tolled. Immediate- 
ly thereafter a fifteen minute 
period of worship was begun in 
the church in which one of Mr. 

Smith's recorded devotionals was 

Baptist Hospitality welcomed Rev. and Mrs. Tack , , rrn. i_ i_ i u- 

Bracey into the First Baptist church at a recep- P^yed. The church membership 

tion in their honor Friday at the church. Rev. and the public were invited to pay 

Bracey is the church supply pastor for the sum- tribute to the inimitable spirit of 

mer months. Shown in the picture are (left to A T c . , , , , 

right) Mr. and Mrs. David Bland as they greet the A J ■ ^ mitn tnrougn tnese services. 
receiving line. Shown also are George M. 
Johnson, Rev. and Mrs. Bracey, M.A. Shaver and 
John Henderson. (News-Argus staff photo). 

After many visits to churches in and 
out of North Carolina, the pulpit commit- 
tee announced that they had found their 
man in Reverend Gilmer H. Cross, 31p a 
native of Lexington, N.C. Rev. Cross was a 
Wake Forest graduate and was preaching 
in Oak Hill, West Virginia. He was en- 
thusiastically called and began his ministry 
January 1, 1951. 

In January, 1951, Mr. Burroughs and 
60 members of the church, together with 
all the deacons, met in the social room for 
lunch after morning worship. Then they 
went out to call on the membership and 
raised the budget in that one afternoon ex- m 
cept for a few follow-ups the next Sunday. m 

The parsonage at 404 W. Walnut Street 
received a complete redecoration and W 
other improvements at a cost of $4,000, all ™ 
in anticipation of the new preacher and his 
family, which consisted of his wife, Bernice, and one daughter, Elizabeth Ann. 

Mr. Frank Seymour, Trustee, reported two gifts to the church, Mr. George 
W. Waters, Sr. had left $1,000 to the church for painting the sanctuary. Mr. John 
R. Crawford had given a deed to a lot on Chestnut Street at the rear of Dr. 
Strosnider's property with the hope that the lot could be used for a building, 
dedicated to children's activities (kindergarten, first grade, child care, etc.). 

Gilmer H. Cross 

3! p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


The Greenleaf Mission asked for separation from our church in order that 
they might assume full responsibilities of a church. Their wish was granted and a 
deed was given with a provision that the property would revert to the First Bap- 
tist Church if it ceased to be used as a Baptist Church. 

Gloria Mayer resigned and Miss Katherine Grayson became the new 
Religious Education leader. Miss Dorothy Swan became the new financial 

Mr. Cross joined in plans for betterment and enlargement which were 
already in the minds and spirit of the members. 

A Building and Expansion Committee started a study that considered many 
possibilities. First to be considered was a new Sunday School building which 
would cover all our lot at the rear of the church and extend out to Chestnut 
Street. It was argued that the Professional Building should be sold and the money 
applied on the above proposed new building. There were those who seriously ob- 
jected to spending any more money on the Professional Building. While the 
debate went on, it was reported that our church building, now forty years old, 
needed a new slate roof. Money was borrowed from the Bank of Wayne at 4.5 
percent and the new roof went on at a cost of $ 15,000. 

In 1952, Mrs. W.E. Thornton was named church clerk and Mrs. Ruby D. 
Griffin, church treasurer, D.N. Alexander was serving his second year as chair- 
man of the Board of Deacons. Miss Mildred R. Baker became Minister of Music. 
Miss Sallie Settle (Mrs. Henry Modlin, Jr.) was employed as church secretary and 
Mrs. A. A. Loftin was employed as financial secretary. 

Due to a disagreement in the membership over which move to make on the 
matter of expansion, a new idea was developed. It was suggested that we sponsor 
a new church in the eastern part of Goldsboro and postpone any further im- 
provement to our present plant. 

In the meantime, our By-Laws Committee was ready to report. After two 
readings at two meetings, the By-Laws were adopted with a few amendments on 
April 29, 1953. 

Organization for a new church moved ahead with the donation of a lot on 
Madison Avenue. The lot was one block square bordered by Pine Street, Best 
Street, Laurel Street, and Madison Avenue. This building site was given to 
Madison Avenue Church in memory of John R. Crawford and wife, Clyde Den- 
mark Crawford, by Mary C. Norwood and husband, Charles S. Norwood; 
Virginia C. Henderson and husband, John L. Henderson; and John R. Crawford, 
Jr. and his wife, Annie Laurie Crawford. The new church was further sponsored 
by the mother church by monthly subsidies of $ 100.00 for four years. 

The new church was off to a good start. Two hundred sixteen members in- 
dicated their desire to move to the new church. The organization meeting was set 
for October 18, 1953, at which time the name Madison Avenue Baptist 
Church was adopted. W. Powell Bland, Chairman of the new church commit- 
tee, reported at each of the many meetings held before final organization was 


completed. A Pulpit Committee was named and early in 1954, Mr. Roy Beals ac- 
cepted the call to be the first pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church. 

Our church, reconciled that all decisions on the new church were good and to 
the best interest of all, settled down to improve the main plant. A program was 
proposed to repair and improve the organ by installing a new console. Word was 
outlined for full utilization of the Education Building. By resolution, presented 
by the Building & Grounds Committee, it was resolved that the building be 
called the Alfred J. Smith Education Building, a fitting memorial to the man 
who conceived the idea and brought about the purchase of the building. Addi- 
tional funds would be needed to make the building more usable. $65,000 was 
needed and spent in 1954-55. 

Miss Baker resigned and soon Miss Lovie C. Cashwell was employed as 
youth director and Miss Ellen Springle was named Minister of Music and 
organist. W. Stryon Harris, Jr. was licensed to preach. A copy of the statement of 
this as given July, 1954, is found on Page 48 of Record Book No. 10. 

The Church By-Laws were again reviewed, amended and adopted on August 
1, 1954. They are spread upon the Church Minutes in Book 10 at Page 49-53. 

A program of dedications was conducted for the Alfred J. Smith Educational Building, at 
which time a portrait of Rev. Mr. Smith was presented. Shown above with the portrait are: 
Dr. Carlyle Campbell, Rev. Gilmer H. Cross, G. Frank Seymour, George William Walker, 
Elizabeth Ann Mintz, Mrs. L. L. Edgerton, Dr. M. A. Huggins and Dr. L. L. Carpenter. 

The dedication of the renovated Alfred J. Smith Education Building was held 
January 16, 1955. A portrait of Mr. Smith was presented to the church at the 
morning service. Dr. M.A. Huggins, Dr. L.L. Carpenter and Dr. Carlyle Camp- 
bell were guests. Dr. Campbell delivered the principal address. Mrs. L.L. Edger- 
ton, president of W.M.U., presented the portrait and Elizabeth Ann Mintz and 
George Walker, grandchildren of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, did the unveiling. Frank 


Seymour, chairman of the Board of Deacons, accepted it for the church. In the 
afternoon, hundreds of people inspected the building and were pleased with 
what they saw. The newspaper carried pictures and accounts of the event that 
were very flattering. An editorial by Mr. Henry Belk eulogizing A.J. Smith was 
outstanding. Copies of all these news items are preserved in the Library Scrap- 

Clyde Crawford Parlor - 1955 

Mr. John R. Crawford, life deacon and trustee, died in 1953 and left $10,000 
to the church, stating in his will that the money should be spent for a fitting 
memorial to Clyde D. Crawford, his wife, who died in 1951. Mrs. Crawford had 
been president of W.M.U. for ten years (1928-1938) and a Sunday School teacher 
for many more years. A class was named for Mrs. Crawford during her teaching 
years and is still the Clyde Crawford Class. The W.M.U. had made a request 
for a church parlor. Now it seemed possible, since the church had made the old 
beginners department room available for this purpose. In addition to the be- 
quest, the children of Mrs. Crawford furnished the parlor with furniture, pic- 
tures, and books, some of which were in the Crawford home. A lovely portrait of 
Mrs. Crawford was placed over the fireplace mantel. There was sufficient funds 
left, so, as a memorial to Mr. Crawford, an arcade was erected connecting the 
church with the Smith Education Building. The parlor was dedicated in a special 
service October 23, 1955. Mr. Crawford had served as trustee, life deacon, 
finance committee and benefactor for 60 years. 


For the first year of its existence, Madison Avenue Church met in the 
auditorium of the Walnut Street School. In August, 1955, sufficient funds had 
been gathered to start construction of unit No. 1, which would serve as their 
sanctuary and Sunday School building and would be known as the Crawford 
Memorial Educational Building. Not until March 1957, was the building com- 
pleted and dedicated. 

First building to be built and called the Crawford Building. Enlarged later, now the 
Crawford Education Building - 1955. 

Madison Avenue Baptist Church - 1972 


In November, 1955, Miss Cashwell resigned as education director. Mrs. Fred 
Harrell, long active in many branches of our church, was employed to fill the 
position. George Bain, secretary of the advisory council, made a motion at our 
fall conference that a Sanctuary Study Committee be appointed. For several 
years suggestions had been made that we should renovate our sanctuary, enlarge 
and beautify it. Mr. D.N. Alexander was named chairman of this committee. 
After several months study, this committee came up with three plans, ranging in 
cost from $50,000 to $135,000. More will be related about this project. It finally 
got under way in 1958. 

By July, 1956, Brookside Chapel was self-supporting and wished to branch 
out and build a church. Mr. Cross was highly in favor of this move and suggested 
that our church set aside each month $200.00 to accumulate as a building fund 
for Brookside Chapel. A lot was donated and the building fund increased, but a 
church building was not started. Many problems developed and the mission lost 
ground, until eventually, in 1968, it was closed down completely. At that time 
there was approximately $21,000 accumulated in the Building Fund. 

Robert E. Bryan was chairman of the By-Laws Committee in 1957. He 
presented amendments to the existing by-laws that were approved and adopted. 
The new by-laws were spread upon the Minutes of Record Book No. 10, April 24, 
1957, Pages 88-91. 

Adamsville Baptist Church - 1985 

Adamsville Baptist Church had its beginning in September, 1958. Sponsored 
by the Neuse Association, our church designated one-half of its State Mission 
Fund to the new Adamsville Church. M.A. Shaver, who had led and served our 
Sunday School as superintendent for 16 years (1938-1954), took an active part in 
organizing the Adamsville Church and continues today as its leading member. 
M.A. Shaver died June 1986. 


A report of the Sanctuary Committee was ready in March 1958, and the next 
month it was approved. A building committee, composed of Charles S. Norwood, 
chairman, and Mrs. S.H. Hocutt, Raymond Bryan, Mrs. George Bain, D.N. Alex- 
ander, R.N. Rouse and Ray Bryan, Jr. was elected and empowered to hire an ar- 

As soon as forty percent of the needed $ 135,000 was in hand and the balance 
of sixty percent in signed pledges, the building committee could go to work. A 
large finance committee of 28 members was named with Raymond A. Bryan and 
Ben Burroughs, co-chairmen. The project was now underway, it was not to be 
completed until November 8, 1959, when 550 people filled the church for its first 
service in the new sanctuary. 

Sanctuary Before The Renovation 1912-1959 

Sanctuary After The Renovation - 1960 


On January 3, 1960, we held the dedication of the new sanctuary. Echoes 
from the past were given by Dr. Annie D. Denmark, Mrs. Carroll Bryan, and 
Basil Watkins, son of George T. Watkins, our former pastor (1908-1922). The 
principal messages were given by Dr. Douglas M. Branch, General Secretary of 
the State Convention, and Dr. S.L. Stealy. Special music by our Minister of 
Music, E. Bruce Sloop, concluded the program. A brochure was prepared giving 
pictures of the interior of the church before and after, as well as pictures of 
former pastors and our present pastor, Gilmer A. Cross and family. A short 
history of the church and the entire church membership were printed in the 
brochure. The local newspaper gave pictures and reports of the event. Many 
memorials were given at this time in the way of furniture, pews, pulpit and the 
like. A list of these memorials is carried in special book of Church Memorials, it 
is displayed in the north vestibule of the church. $ 125,000 was the cost of this im- 
provement to the church. 

Goldsboro was now a city of 26,000. Our church budget was $78,000. John L. 
Henderson was chairman of the Board of Deacons. Robert E. Bryan was chair- 
man of the Board of Budget-Finance. Simon Jessee was superintendent of Sunday 
School. E. Bruce Sloop was Minister of Music; Mrs. A. A. Loftin, Financial 
Secretary; B.G. Stowe, Church Treasurer; Mrs. W.A. Jackson, Church Clerk; 
Mrs. John Getsinger, Librarian; Dr. Annie D. Denmark, President of W.M.U.; 
George E. Bain, Chairman of the Nominating Committee. 

The church received the gift of an elevator that enabled the elderly to reach 
the sanctuary without climbing many steps. This was a gift from "The Family and 
Friends" of John L. Henderson, who died while serving as chairman of the Board 
of Deacons. 

. Sfc'-.v'ij 


Co-Chm. Bldg. Finance Committee Co-Chm. Bldg. Finance Committee 


In July, 1963, it was announced that a vacant lot at 1903 E. Walnut Street had 
been given to the church as a site for a new parsonage. The lot and the parsonage 
was a gift to the church by R.A. Bryan. Construction was begun immediately, 
and in April, 1964, Mr. & Mrs. Cross lived in the completed, beautiful home that 
the church is proud to possess until his death in November of 1969. Dr. Smith 
moved in shortly after in early 1970. Raymond A. Bryan, the donor, died 
September 1983. 

Parsonage, 1903 East Walnut Street 

A report from a long range Planning Committee had not only recommended 
the need of a new parsonage, but also a plan to renovate the Education Building. 
Estimates for the renovation ran up to $87,000, but it was agreed that the job 
could be done so a Building Committee was named with John R. Crawford, Jr. as 
chairman. A Fund Raising Committee was named with D.N. Alexander as chair- 
man. The old parsonage at 404 Walnut was sold for $16,500 and the proceeds 
placed in the Education Building program. Over $100,000 was spent to make the 
building more usable. 

Left to right: Mrs. W.S. Gibson; R.A. Bryan, Sr.; B.G. Stowe; D.N. 
Alexander; Charles Norwood, Chairman; Mr. Cross, Pastor; 
George Bain, General Chairman, Forward Program; Dr. Ralph 
Bland; Mrs. Julian Gaskill; Mrs. Cecil Best. 



This program would not only make a complete new Sunday School facility 
modern and up to date, but it would also change the front exterior of the building 
for the first time, making it look like an education building rather than an office 
and store building. One of the new features would be a conference room for the 
use of the governing boards of the church. In appreciation of many years of serv- 
ice rendered by D.N. Alexander and J. Ben Burroughs, the room was dedicated to 
their memory. Both men died before the renovating program was complete. The 
furnishing of this room was made possible by the many memorial gifts to the 
church honoring these men. 

In October, 1965, Mrs. Fred Harrell resigned her post as educational director, 
a position she had held for ten years. Mrs. Harrell meant more than her title in- 
dicated to the First Baptist Church. She was capable of filling any position of the 
church and could answer any question about the church and its activities. A serv- 
ice of appreciation was held at the time of her resignation. Representatives from 
all departments of the church spoke words of commendation and love. Gifts of 
silver from the church and from the W.M.U. were presented to Mrs. Harrell. 
Soon after her resignation, her health failed. She declined rapidly and died 
August 27, 1967. 


Mrs. F.L. Harrell 
Director of Education 

The Laura Harrell Chapel 

For some time the need and desire for a church chapel had been expressed. 
Now with the many memorial gifts to Mrs. Harrell and others, it was possible to 
start the project. The Men's Bible Class room, 15'x45', lent itself to the need. Sam 
H. Hocutt, as Building Chairman, led a committee in planning and building the 
chapel, which upon completion was dedicated the Laura Harrell Memorial 
Chapel. Approximately $8,000 was spent in its beautification. Dedication ser- 
vices of the chapel were held October 30, 1968. 

In 1966, George E. Bain was chairman of the Board of Deacons. Our church 
budget totaled $95,000. The Building Fund of Brookside Mission had reached 
$23,856. It was evident that the building of a church would not materialize due to 
the changes taking place in the community. It was agreed that $15,879 of the 


total Building Fund had come from the Cooperative Program. Therefore, a check 
for this amount was mailed to Raleigh to replace the deductions we had made 
over the past twelve years. The balance of the building fund was absorbed in our 
renovation programs. 

Mrs. Lois Carter served our church as 
bookkeeper from 1962 until December, 
1965, when Mrs. Ruth Kemp began her 
employment as Financial Secretary. 

Mrs. Ellen Piner resigned as Minister of 
Music in 1966 and was followed by Mr. 
Gordon Fletcher. Mr. Larry Austin served 
as Minister of Education from March,, 
1967 to June, 1970. 

In June,, 1967, our church approved 
the purchase of a new pipe organ from The 
Mollar Company. This was a 20 rank organ 
requiring two organ chambers. Cost of the 
organ, console and choir changes totaled 

Mrs. L. Woodrow Kemp (Ruth) 

Our church approved a suggestion of William R. Crow, chairman of the 
Board of Deacons, that we grant Mr. Cross a six weeks leave of absence and send 
him on the Baptist Philippine Crusade. This was from November to December 
20, 1968. 

In October, 1968, a motion was made by our church in conference that we 
abolish the Advisory Council. A special meeting was set for January, 1969 to con- 
sider this proposal. The meeting was held but the proposal was rejected. 
However, an amendment to the By-Laws was made that reduced the number of 
board meetings. A joint meeting of the two boards, Deacons and Budget Finance, 
to be held quarterly, was to replace the special quarterly meeting of the Advisory 

Mr. Cross and our church were honored when he was elected President of 
the General Board of the State Convention in 1968. He continued this office into 
1969. He appeared to be in perfect health, but on Monday, June 16, 1969, on a 
trip to Caswell Assembly, he suffered a severe heart attack shortly after arriving 
at the retreat. He died enroute to a hospital. Goldsboro was shocked with the 
news of his death. He was only 59 years of age. 

On Wednesday afternoon the church was overflowing with people who came 
to pay a last tribute to him. The funeral service was conducted by close minister 
friends. After the service, his body was carried to Lexington, N.C. for interment. 


A Pulpit Committee composed of Dr. 
M.G. Delbridge, chairman, George E. 
Bain, Ida Williams, William L. Powell and 
Virginia C. Henderson, visited several 
churches in search of a new minister. 
When they visited the Green Street Baptist 
Church in High Point, North Carolina, and 
heard Reverend Leon Smith preach, they 
knew that their search was over. Leon 
Smith 32p , a native of Belton, South Car- 
olina, graduated from Anderson College, 
Anderson, South Carolina. He studied one 
year at the Southern BaptistTheological 
Seminary in Louisville, Ky. before entering 
Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake 
Forest. Here he received the Bachelor of 
Divinity and the Master of Theology. He 
received Clinical pastoral Training at the 
N.C. Baptist Hospital. Previous church ex- 
perience includes: Pastor, BonLee Baptist 
Church, Associate Pastor, First Baptist 
Church, Lenior, N.C, Associate pastor, 
Green Street Baptist Church, High Point, N.C. 

Pastor, First Baptist Church 

Most ministers like to choose their own staff, change the order of service, 
create a new weekly letter and elect more committees. Leon Smith did all of this 
and more. 

After a period of adjustment, the first major change in our church was the 
rewriting of our Bylaws which began in 1970 and ended in 1979, a document of 
13 pages. Revised and revised, then laid aside. 

In 1971 we started Day Child Care with 30 preschool children enrolled. A 
portion of the first floor of the Education Building was to be used. By 1975 the 
Child Care had grown to 100 children and 13 employees with a budget of 
$100,000 a year. It was in 1980, nine years later, that an addition to the Bylaws, 
Article III, created a committee to supervise day care, requesting that they con- 
tribute to the church its share of expenses for lights, heat and water, kitchen ex- 
penses, and also to render monthly financial statements to the church and funnel 
all money through the Church Treasury. Mrs. Emily Powell and Ida Williams, 
sponsors, Mrs. Helen Barbour, treasurer. 

In 1972 Dallas Prestwood of Hartsville, S.C. became our Minister of Educa- 
tion. He resigned in 1976 and was replaced by Sam Everette. A reception for Sam 
Everette was held July, 1976. W.R. Crow was then Chairman of the Board of 
Deacons, and George E. Bain was Secretary. 

32 p See Biographies of Pastors, Part II 


The Church Memorial Committee pro- 
moted the refurbishing of our social room 
and dedicated it as The Gilmer H. Cross 
Fellowship Hall. On March 3, 1973, a por- 
trait of Rev. Cross was presented to the 
church by Mrs. Cross. Dr. Annie D. Den- 
mark and Dr. Perry Crouch were the 
speakers for the occasion. The Cross fami- 
ly, including Mrs. Cross, daughter 
Elizabeth Ann and son-in-law Charles 
Hillard, and two grandchildren par- 
ticipated in the unveiling. 

In May, 1973, congratulations to E. 
Leon Smith was in order. He had complet- 
ed work required to receive his Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern 
Baptist Theological Seminary at Wake Forest, North Carolina. 

This portrait of Gilmer Cross was 
presented to the Church March 3, 
1973 by Mrs. Cross and family. 

The Mary Crawford Norwood Scholarship Fund was established in 1974. 
Mary Crawford Norwood, long time teacher and WMU President, died 
November 29, 1973. She had been a member of the church for 60 years. She was 
one of the first group to be baptized in the new church in May 1913. She left 
$25,000 to the church, one-half of which was to be set up for helping young 
church members go to college. After ten years, the fund had increased by 
$20,000 enabling 45 annual gifts to 35 young people to enter college over the past 
nine years. 

At this time Article V was added to the Bylaws. It provides a Trustee Trust 
Fund for capital gifts from estates. These funds are to be used only for capital im- 
provement and expansion and only disbursed by order of the church in con- 
ference. Pressing need for funds for maintenance of buildings soon dissipated 
this fund and the Article V was suspended by the Deacons. 

In 1962 a long range study committee had recommended our greatest need 
for expansion was a ground level fellowship hall but more land must be acquired 
before this wish could be fulfilled. Now in 1975 the corner lot, known as the 
Edgerton-Strosnider property, became available on the death of Mrs. Anna 
Strosnider. A quick transaction and two substantial gifts secured the property at 
a cost of $45,000 plus $5,000 requirement to make the lot useful. Shortly after- 
wards the B.G. Thompson warehouse property that adjoins the Education 
Building on the north was purchased for $22,000. The church borrowed money 
from the bank for this transaction. Still another lot was needed to complete our 
land needs. This was the adjoining property of the Hanger Estate. This was add- 
ed at a cost of only $5,000, making our total land acquisition $77,000 in 1975. 

We were now ready to start our expansion program, "Together We Build" 
which had been suggested in 1962. By this time the church had moved into 
transporting young and old to church and resorts, also to a renewal of Wednes- 
day night fellowship suppers. This required the purchase of a van. For the next 


three years we were purchasing an additional van each year until we had three 
vans. Soon one of the vans was given to Child Care. 

In 1976 a Building Survey & Planning Committee headed by Mrs. Lola 
Delbridge was appointed. The committee soon came to the same conclusion of 
the committee of 1962 that a large ground level fellowship hall was their first 
priority. The next step was to engage the services of Everitt Floyd, Church 
Building Systems, as architect and planner. 

Our first contract and goal was to build a fellowhip hall on the Strosnider lot 
and a connecting office complex at a cost not to exceed $500,000 and not to start 
until we had received $400,000 in cash and pledges. 

Our "Together We Build" banquet was set for April 2, 1978, with Joe James, 
Director. Approximately 400 were present who made pledges of $390,000. By 
May 18, 1978, we were over our goal, $420,330, total cash and pledges. After 
several months of meeting with the architect, the committee recommended the 
plans be accepted but preferred the local firm of T. A. Loving Company of 
Goldsboro as building contractor. (R.A. Bryan and son, Ray Jr., being members 
of the church). Recommendations of the committee were duly approved. The 
Trustees and the church in conference authorized the Building Committee to 
negotiate a contract for not over $750,000 with T. A. Loving Company. Many 
items had been added after our first goal had been reached so quickly. A gym 
was added to cover the Hanger lot. Groundbreaking was set for September 7, 
1978. We paid off the architect $27,500 to avoid a larger sum (percentage on the 
total to be spent). Our total pledges $410,658 on the first annual report of May 10, 
1979 was to be paid over three years. Only $200,000 had been paid in cash, 
necessitating a bank loan of $200,000 plus $300,000 for a total of $500,000 bor- 
rowed money to complete the building by November 4, 1979. Dedication Day 
and Open House was December 6, 1979. Approximately 400 guests visited the 
reception and tour of the new building. 

These were trying times financially for the congregation and difficult to keep 
up with our cooperative program obligations, but determination to complete our 
enlargement program moved the church into a second "Together We Build" 
pledging for another three year commitment, 1981-1984. Joe James again led the 
church in this last pledging drive and tabbed it "Debt No More In Eighty-Four" 
and that was it. The balance was met in full, December 7, 1984. A remarkable ex- 
perience for a congregation of 900 people. In six years we had enlarged our pro- 
perty, land and buildings by 100% at a cost of over one million dollars and in- 
creased our annual budget by 50% over the same period. On January 7,, 1985, 
Dr. Roy Young of State Baptist, Raleigh, was our guest speaker to help us 
celebrate the burning of the last note to seal "Debt No More In Eighty-Four." 


Together We Build - 1978-1979 

Lola Delbridge, Chairman 
Groundbreaking, Sept. 7, 1978 



Mm ' 

.; - 

Fellowship Hall in the making, January 1979 

... „J 


Joe James, Campaign Director 

Fellowship Hall completed, December 6, 1979 


'' « 

Our new Grade A kitchen 


Fellowship Hall as it appears from Chestnut Street, 1980. 


Our spacious fellowship hall will seat 400 and can be divided into 4 separate rooms. 

Fellowship Hall Setup 


Our Founder, Charles J. Nelson 
Memorial Window now at en- 
trance to new fellowship hall. 

Paul Olsen, Artis (1912) 

(Sfirgi ^aplisf (Ufprclj Goldsboro, North Carolina 



1. Biographical Sketches of Founder and Thirty-Two Pastors (1843-1980). 

2. Eminent Church Members of Early Years. 

3. Outstanding Church Officers and Leaders Listed in the Church Minutes. 




First Pastor 1843 








Charles J. Nelson 

1815 - 


David Thomson 
1st Pastor 

1754 - 
1843 - 


George Dupree 
2nd Pastor 

1843 - 


William Robinson 
3rd Pastor 

Amos Johnston Battle 
4th Pastor 

1816 - 


1844 - 


1805 - 


1847 - 


Harley Minor 
5th Pastor 



Joshua J. James 
6th Pastor 

Samuel Wait 
7th Pastor 

David Coulling 
8th Pastor 

1814 - 


1851 - 


1789 - 


1853 - 


June 1856 - 


George Bradford 
9th Pastor 

Feb. 1858 - Jan. 1859 

Rev. George William Keesee 
10th Pastor 

1830 - 1861 

Feb. 1859 - July 1861 

Dr. Needham Bryan Cobb 
11th Pastor 

1836 - 1905 

Jan. 1862 - Jan. 1863 

Elder Pleasant Daniel Gold 
12th Pastor 

1833 - 
Jan. 1863 - Sept. 1864 


Rev. Theodore Whitfield 
13th Pastor 

Rev. J.B. Hardwicke 
14th Pastor 

Rev. George W. Sanderlin 
15th pastor 

Elder Columbus Durham 
16th Pastor 

Rev. Fitz Henry Ivey 
17th Pastor 

Dr. Theodore Whitfield 
18th Pastor (2nd Term) 

Thomas Dixon, Jr. 
19th Pastor 






- Apr. 






- Mar. 






- Mar. 






- Jan. 







- Jan. 







- Jan. 







- May 


Rev. J.S. Dill 
20th Pastor 

Mar. 1888 - Dec. 1890 

Rev. Jesse Hartwell Edwards 
21st Pastor 

1853 - 1915 

Mar. 1891 - Aug. 1893 

Rev. C.A. Jenkens 
22nd Pastor 

Rev. James Long 
23rd Pastor 

Rev. William Cary Newton 
24th Pastor 

Rev. C.A. Jenkens 
25th Pastor (2nd Term) 

Dr. W.F. Fry 
26th Pastor 

Rev. George Thomas Watkins 
27th Pastor 

Dr. Zeno Wall 
28th Pastor 

1850 - 



1893 - 




1895 - 
1873 - 



1897 - 


1850 - 


1900 - 


1868 - 


1903 - 


1864 - 


1908 - 


1882 - 


1922 - 




Rev. C.V. Brooks 
29th Pastor 

Rev. Alfred J. Smith 
30th Pastor 

Rev. Gilmore Cross 
31st Pastor 

Dr. E. Leon Smith 
32nd Pastor 

1869 - 1938 

1925 - May 1926 

1889 - May 1950 

May 1926 - May 1950 

May 1910 - June 1969 

Jan. 1951 - June 1969 

Jan. 1940 - 
Nov. 1969 - 

Parsonage, Sunday School Room, 125 S.John St. 1st Church 1858 

Present Church 1912 and Education Building 1938 



1815 - 1899 

Charles J. Nelson, son of Moses Nelson 
and Charity Purser Nelson, was born in 
Craven County, October 21, 1815. His 
father was sheriff of Craven County. He 
was also a wealthy farmer. 

Charles Nelson was married first to 
Sarah Heron in 1835. There were five 
children of this marriage. A son, Richard 
H., became a prominent lawyer of Balti- 
more, Md. Another son, Charles E. was 
killed on Center Street by a train in 1875. 
In 1880, Nelson married Mrs. Fannie S. 

Nelson came from New Bern to 
Waynesborough in 1839, the year of the 
Great Festival, as a carriage builder. 
Waynesborough was the County Seat of 
Wayne County and had been incorporated 
as a town in 1787. It was located on the 
northern banks of the Neuse River near the 
mouth of the Little River. 

Brother Nelson, disturbed over the lack of religion in Waynesborough, was 
determined to do something about it. He started a Sunday School in 1840, which, 
with the help of his friends, became the organized First Baptist Church in 1843. 
His associates were Robert McNabb, George W. Dupree from Wake County, and 
David Thomson of Smithfield. Thomson became the first pastor of the church 
while Nelson continued to serve as the superintendent of the Sunday School. 
Nelson was most faithful and did not miss attendance for the next 22 years. He 
lived to celebrate 55 years of leadership in the church and Sunday School. In 
1895 the church paid a great tribute to the man who had spent a lifetime in ser- 
vice for his church. A special service and program was held in his honor. A copy 
of the program has been preserved and is attached to this sketch. 

In 1850 when the church moved from Waynesborough to Goldsboro, it was 
necessary for it to meet in the Academy building located on the southeastern cor- 
ner of Chestnut and John, for it had no church building of its own. 

Brother Nelson moved his carriage business from Waynesborough and 
established it on South John Street. It was a good and successful business and 
Nelson was a good manager and prospered, making it possible for him to do 
many things for his church. He was authorized by the church in 1856 as Trustee 
to purchase from J.J. Baker, the lot on which the first church was built. He was 
named chairman of the building committee. 

For eight years before the first church was completed in 1858, Brother 
Nelson's work bell on his carriage shop was used to call worshipers to church on 
Sunday morning. Not until one year after completing the new church did it 


muster up $150.00 to purchase a church bell from Raleigh. That bell was moved 
to the present church in 191 1 and is still used to call the worshipers to worship on 
Sunday morning. The oldest church bell in Goldsboro in active use today. 

311 South John Street, Waynesborough home of C.J. Nelson. Moved to 307 South John 
Street in 1850 and used as Nelson Buggy and Harness Factory 1850-1895. Turned around 
and added front porch in 1895 for his second wife, Fannie Robinson. J.J. Robinson, brother 
of Nelson's second wife Fannie Robinson, moved in after the death of Nelson in 1899 and re- 
mained there the rest of his life. His daughter Margaret Robinson Sears, continued to live 
here until her death in 1982. 


(Copied from Biblical Recorder of Raleigh, N.C. The 
original paper is owned by Mrs. H.H. Johnson of 
Baltimore, Maryland, a grandniece) 

Rev. Charles Johnson Nelson, business man, Sun- 
day School Worker, Church Founder, Preacher, Mis- 

On the evening of January 2, 1899, he quietly 
breathed his last. There were none who witnessed the 
hour of parting whose minds did not follow the 
sainted spirit up to the Heavenly Rest, rather than 
linger in thought upon the lifeless form that lay before 

He gave largely of his means. Another noble 
tribute of his life work is the strength of the Colored 
Baptist Churches in Goldsboro. After the War he at 
once set himself to provide them a house of worship. 
They are now the strongest Denomination among the 
colored people of the town. Brother Nelson preached 
to the colored people, occasionally, even in his old 
age. The large gathering of colored people in the 
gallery at his funeral attested their esteem for him. Nelson marker - Willowdale Cemetery 


This program of Nelson's 55th Anniversary is included in our History Book in 
its entirety because it is the oldest piece of church literature we have and tells so 
much about the early church and its first members. 





"Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

Sunday School, 
said to be the 
organized in 

st Baptist Church, 
first 5. School 
Wayne County. 

Rev. C. J. Nelson, 

Organizer and 22 years, Supt. 

Goldsboro, N. C, August nth, 1895. 


UK, SUNDAY SCHOOL was organized with seven members, 
in the year 1840 at Waynesboro, then the county seat of 
Wayne county, in a free meeting house by Chas. J. Nelson 
who became its Superintendent, which position he held for twenty- 
two years: As an outgrowth of this school, in the year 1843 what is 
now known as the First Baptist church of Goldsboro, was organized 
with five members. During the first eight years after its organiza- 
tion services were held alternately at this free meeting house in 
Waynesboro and the old Academy building in Goldsboro that stood 
where St. Paul church now stands. In the year 1.851 services at 
Waynesboro were abandoned, most of the inhabitants having moved 
to Goldsboro, the new county seat. For several years there was no 
church in the "Borough" supplied with a bell, and services were an- 
nounced by the ringing of the bell at the carriage shop of Chas. J. 
Nelson. At night the old tallow candle, the kind our mothers made, 
was the only available light. We are glad that the organizer of our 
School has been spared to meet with us on this occasion. And be it 
remembered that though he is now 80 years of age he is regular upon 
the attendance of the services of the church. 


(J. J. Nelson. 
Peter Bogart. 
William Bogart. 
Wesley Whitaker. 

George W-. Sauderlin. 
J. J. Robinson. 
Newton Green. 
J. E. Peterson. 

J. Y. .loyner. 
T. 13. Parker. 
II. L. Grant,. 
U. J. Riven b irk. 

Maj. Clark. 

David Thomson 
George Dupree 
William Robinson- 1843 
A. J. Battle 
Harly Minor 
J. J. James 
Dr. Samuel Waite 
Daniel Couling- 1856-58 
George Bradford- 1858-59 
G.W. Keese- 1859-61 
N. B. Cobb- 1862-63 

P. D. Gold- 1863-64 

Theodore Whitfield- 1864-66, also 83-86 

J. B. Hardwick- 1866-68 

George W. Sanderlin- 1868-71 

C. Durham- 1871-76 

F. H. Ivey- 1876-83 

Thomas Dixon, Jr. - 1886-87 

J. S. Dill- 1888-90 

J. Hartwell Edwards- 1891-93 

Chas. A. Jenkens- 1893-95 

Wm. Carey Newton- 1895, present pastor 

Following Members of our Church Ordained to the Ministry. 
Rev. J. T. Albritton. Hev. 0. J. Nelson, Rev. J. W. Millard, Rev. J. T. Edmundson. 


Our Anniversary Poem. 



Rev.Jno. T. Albritton. 

Teacher of (,'lnss No. 5 in IK57. . 
Ordained to Ministry in in:>!I. 

In ;i Utile I'nion Chapel, 

On tin' bonier of Iho Neuse, 
iltistii inile from fair (ioldshnro 

We first blossomed into use. 
ISrolhcr Nelson was tlie founder 

Fifty-live bright years ago, 
'f yon once should doubt my story 

III! is here to tell you so. 

And his band hath ever reached us. 

Strongest aid in time of need. 
And no Sunday School hath ever 

Pound a truer friend indeed. 
b'ev ( '. .1. Nelson founder, 

['lease do not forget the name. 
And (be Ucv. ,1 'I*. Albritton 

Ifeiiieinber just, the same. 

lie will preach to you this morning;. 

And his words yon glad will bear 
When I tell yon that him first 

Our ehnreh sent forth good news to bear. 
Yes. he Lhe first stands with us. 

Jbit full many since that time 
From our midst have told the story 

That is loved in every clinic. 

W'e have met for celebration 

Of a great and ulad event; 
For more than half a century 

In harmony is spent. 
And may the coming seasons 

Bring us freedom from all strife. 
Till we all clasp hands in heaven 

in the higher better life. 

Now, we welcome you, our comrades. 

And we welcome you. our friends, 
Kvery faithful, fellow-worker 

Whose joyous cheering presence lends. 
Join ns ill our prayers and singing 

And each joyful note prolong ; 
When our work below is ended, 

.May ue join the giad New Sony:.. 

Morning Service. 

ii:oo n,. in. — Invocation. 

Praise services by the Sept. 
1 1 :'■!() a. m. — Offering for Home Missions. 

| J. J. Robinson, 

I I :->* a. m.— Qnartette-'Our Sunday School' J {: W V> S f, ( ? lei ^ , 

c J Mrs. Bettie Stanley, 

(Miss Irene Peterson. 

I I :'.'A) a. in. — Sermon — Rev. J. T. Albritton. 


FROM CHURCH RECORD— Oct. 29th, ia5C. 

At a called meeting held by the church for the 
transaction of some business two (2) colored 
persons. Ciium and Rachel, kotii thk i'iiofkkty 
of broth'T Jesse J. Baker, presented themselves 
as candidates for Baptism and for admissl n into 
th a church. After relating their christian ex- 
perience a vote, for their Baptism and admission, 
was taken which was unanimous. 


4:30 p. m. — Praise service led by Willis J. Brogden. 

Scriptural reading Review present quarter 

Lesson I —Leader And God spake all these 
words saying. 

Teachers I am the Lord thy God, which have 
brought thee out of the 1-ind of Egypt, out of the 
house of Bondage. 

Thou shalt have no other gods before 


Lesson II Leader. And Moses returned unto 
the Lord, and said. Oh, this people have sinned a 
Kreat sin. 

Teachers. Yet now. if thou wilt forgive their 
sin--; but if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of the 
book which thou hast written. 

Scliool And the Lord said unto Moses. Who- 
soever hath sinned against me, him will I blot 
out of my book. 

Lesson HI. Leader. Do not drink wine nor 
strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when 
ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, 
lest ye die. 

Teachers It shall be a statute for ever through- 
out your generations. 

School. That ye may put difference between 
holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean. 

Lesson IV.— Leader. We are journeying unto 
the place of which the Lord said, I will give it 

Teachers. Come thou with us, and we will do 
thee good. 

School. For the Lord hath spoken good con- 
cerning Israel. 

Lksson V.— Leader And Caleb stilled the peo- 
ple before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, 
and possess it; for we are well able to overcome 

Teachers. But the men that went up with him 
said. We be not able to go up against the people; 
for they are stronger than we. 

School. And they brought up an evil report of 
the land which they had searched. 

Lesson VI. — Leader. And the Lord said unto 
Moses, Make thee a tiery serpent, and set it upon 
a pole. 

Teachers. And it shall come to pass, that 
every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon 
it, shall live. 

School. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the 
wilderness, oven so must the Son of man be 
lifted up: that whosoever believefh in him should 
not perish, but have eternal life. 

4:50 p. m.— Recitation. "The Master's Call" by Emma Parker. 

5:00 p. ra.— Solo by Mrs. Bettie Stanloy. 

Offering Foreign Missions. 

5:10 p. m. — Lesson G "The Brazen Serpent" taught by pastor W. 
C. Newton. 

5:30 p. m. — "They sing a now Song", by Sunday School Choir. 

5:35 p. m.— Address— "Little Things" by H. B. Parker. 


Praise the Lord. 

























i- worthy. 2S. 22:1. 
Is event. 1 Oil. 1(5:25. 
is our maker. P*. 139:14. 
is honorable. Ps. 00:2. 
is {food. Jer. 38:11. 
is loving and kind and true. 





lh loud voice. Lu 
sony. Ps. 0:11. 

stillness. Ps 84:4. 
tli grace in the hear'. Col 3:1(>. 
tb psalms, hymns »nd spiritual 
sunns. Epb. 5:19, 20. 

In secret. Ps. 149:5,0 

In public. I's. 149:1; Lu. 24:53. 

( -n road Lu. 2:20. 

At prayer. Ha. 0:10; Ph. 4:0, 

When all's well. I's. 14":1. 

When in trouble. Ac. 16:25. 

Before battle to insure victory. 2 Cli. 

20;22- T>. 
Continually. He. 13:15; Ph. 4:4. 



Recitation — How we remember 
our Bible verses, by 

X:00 p. in. — Praise services by Gurney Smith. 
8:15 p. in. — Early Reminiscences by Rev. Chas. J. Nelson. 
Song, "Lambs of Jesus", by Child reus Choir. 
8:30 p. m. — Recitation, "The Gleaner", by Lonnie Mannsfield. 
Song No. 33, "Where hast thou gleaned to-day". 
Recitation, "Little boys", by Jesse Hunt. 
Recitation, "The Good Shepherd", by Beaula Smith. 
Song, "I am Jesus Little Lamb", by Mary Howell. 

Mittie Cotton, 
Maud Riven bark, 
Lillian Kelley, 
Ada Howell, 
Carrie Durand, 
Richard Home, 
Annie Pipkin. 
Song No. 380, "Singing as we Journey". 
Recitation — "Brave and True", by Earl Rivenbark. 

f Mabel Stanley, 

Recitation-"Little Lights", by -I ^ allio gollowell, 

& I Annie Pipkin, 

[ Annie Hines. 

Song No. 403, "Is your lamb burning my brother". 

Recitation — "She hath given more than they all", 

by Pearl Fields. 

Offering State Missions. 

Song No. 39, "I love to tell the story". 

Benediction by Rev. C. J. Nelson. 




C. J. Rivenbark, Supt., Hugh Maxwell, S^cty and Treas., 

W. G. Britt, Asst. Supt, , Mrs. E. L. Edmundson, Organist, 


J. J. Robinson, Sr. Grade, Miss Lala Fields, Int. Grade, 

(associated with S. S. 41 years.) Miss Junia Mathis, Int. Grade, 
Mrs. S. D. Petteway, Sr. Grade, Miss Rena Hollowell, Int. Grade, 
Mrs. Bettie Stanley, Sr. Grade, Mrs. D. J. Rivenbark, 2d Pri. Grade, 
W. G. Britt, Ad. Grade, Miss Mary Farrior, 2d Pri. Grade, 

Mrs. A. S. Turner, Ad. Grade, Miss Minnie Grant, 2d Pri. Grade, 
H. B. Parker, Int. Grade, Miss Hattie Farrior, 1st Pri. Grade, 

Mrs. E.L. Edmundson, Int. Grade, Miss Mabel Grant, Special. 

[FROM SUNDAY SCHOOL RECORD— October 27th, 1861.] 

"We are pleased to know that a few soldiers have visited us to witness our proceedings, and 
to spend the Sabbath in a proper mannek. One of the soldiers acted in the capacity of teacher 
pro tern. The others occupied their time in reading books from our library." 

When we glance back these 55 years and see the little gathering in 
the Free-meeting house on the banks of the Neuse Sunday after Sun- 
day, some of the little band walking three miles through sunshine and 
rain that they might be taught in the old blue-back speller and hear 
brother Nelson read to them God's word and then, as we retrace the 
years to the present time and begin to view the thousands of souls that 
have been led to the Saviour, the many that have been instucted in the 
ways of truth and righteousness, the great good that has been done here 
and elsewhere as a result of this little beginning. We are glad, and begin 
to see that God indeed had a hand in the seed-sowing on the Neuse. 
Could we but remove the veil that hangs yonder and peep into the 
Courts of Heaven and behold the glorified bodies of those that were the 
fruits of our ministry as they tread the beautifully paved streets and 
sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, Oh! how joyfully we could sing 
"All hail the power of Jesus Name. 



1791 - 1844 
1st Pastor - 1843-1844 

The Reverend David Thomson of Sampson County was one of the founders 
and the first minister of the Waynesborough Baptist Church, which was the fore- 
runner of the First Baptist Church of 
Goldsboro. Services were held for some 
years in the old Free Meeting House in 
Waynesborough. The first Sunday School 
was organized in 1840 by Charles J. 
Nelson, a carriage maker, and he became 
the first superintendent. In 1843 there was 
a formal organization of the Waynes- 
borough Baptist Church. In 1851 services 
at Waynesborough were abandoned and 
for a time services were held in the old 
Academy Building in Goldsborough. 

The Rev. David Thomson was born 
near Turkey in Sampson County in 1791, 
and was the son of Captain James Thom- 
son, an officer in the North Carolina 
Militia during the Revolution and Lucy 
Ivey. Thomson attended Grove Academy 
in Kenansville. His father was Presby- 
terian and his mother an Episcopalian, but 
at an early age he was converted to the 
Baptist faith and was baptized by the Rev. Fleet Cooper. 

In 1814 young David Thomson was ordained into the ministry, and in the 
same year became founder of Beulah Church on Ten Mile Swamp near Turkey. 
Around 1817-1819 he went as a missionary to Georgia and Alabama. 

In the early 1820's the Reverend Thomson moved to Smithfield, where he 
bought a plantation in the country and built a home in town. Even though he 
went into the mercantile business and was postmaster of Smithfield, he con- 
tinued to serve as pastor of various churches in Johnston County. He first mar- 
ried Sarah McCullers (1801-1836) and by her he had two daughters: Sarah (died 
young) and Ann (1831-1850), who married Dr. John Beckwith. Thomson later 
married Mrs. Pheriby Saunders Helme and by her he had one daughter, Lucy 

The Reverend David Thomson served for several years in the State Senate 
from Johnston County, and he was one of the promoters of the move to establish 
Wake Forest College. He was a member of the first Board of Trustees of Wake 
Forest and served until 1841. 

Besides preaching for several years prior to 1843 at Waynesborough, the 
Reverend Thomson held services at other churches in Wayne. The records show 
that he preached the introductory sermon when the Eastern Baptist Association 
met at Bear Marsh Baptist Church in 1841. 

David Thomson 


The Reverend David Thomson and two daughter, Sarah and Lucy, all died on 
September 1, 1844, and are buried in the Old Town Cemetery in Smithfield. 
Traditionally, they were thought to be victims of an epidemic. 

A local paper said of Thomson after his death, "As a man, a citizen, a Chris- 
tian, he stood pre-eminent with all who had pleasure of his acquaintance. He 
held the individual confidence of all who knew him, as well as the community in 
which he lived, whose State Senator he had often been, with marked credit to 
each, the constituent and the representative." 

The portrait accompanying this article was painted around 1825. 

By Claude H. Moore 

Sept. 14, 1844 


At Smithfield, Johnston county, on the 2d of September, inst., of congestion 
of the bowels, after a confinement of ten days, the Rev. David Thompson, and on 
the same day within a few hours of him, and of each other, his two little 
daughters, Sally and Lucy Ann -they of severe billious fever. 


1816- 1877 
(3rd Pastor - 1844) 

William Robinson, educator, newspaper editor, lay preacher, politician and 
merchant, was born in Drumale, Londonderry County, Ireland, July 12, 1816. 
His parents were George and Mary Dempsey Robinson. 

William Robinson came to Wayne County in 1840, a widower with four sons, 
Wm. G., James H., Windel T. and John R. He was in Old Waynesborough work- 
ing with Charles J. Nelson when Nelson established the first Sunday School in 
the county. Later the Nelson Sunday School became the First Baptist Church. 
Robinson was named pastor of the church before it was a year old. He 
represented the church in October 1844 at the Union Baptist Assoc, held at Bear 
Marsh Church in Duplin County. He did not stay pastor very long as his prin- 
cipal vocation was that of a teacher and when Goldsboro was incorporated in 
1847, we find William Robinson had opened his school in the Davis house on 
Chestnut Street. In the second town election he became a commissioner in 
February 1848. He turned merchant and operated a store near the corner of 
Center and Chestnut St. selling everything from groceries to buckshot. 

William Robinson had married in 1846, Eliza Davis of Seven Springs area, a 
native of Lenoir County. It is said their first child, Dr. M.E. Robinson, was also 
the first child born in Goldsboro after it had become incorporated in June 1847. 
Other children of this couple were James D., Frank P. and Thomas Ruffin. 

In 1850, Robinson started the first newspaper in Goldsboro which he called 
the Goldsboro Patriot. After several years he sold out to Maj. W.B. Gulick. He was 
associated with two other papers, Rough Notes and New Era until 1862. 


Robinson's greatest service was in the field of education. In 1852 his older 
brother, John Robinson, wrote to ask if he a Catholic professor at Trinity College, 
Dublin, would be accepted in Wayne County. A quick reply brought John Robin- 
son to Wayne County to join his brother William. They now operated a school at 
Seven Springs but soon they were in the Academy and later on South John Street 
at Elm. Their school was called the Wayne Institute and Normal College. They 
both worked at state level with Calvin H. Wiley, known as the father of N.C. 
Public School System. Wiley was the state's first Superintendent of Education. 

The gathering of Civil War clouds found Robinson, a true Southerner, turn 
with anguish. One of his sons, Lt. William G. Robinson, had graduated from 
West Point and was an officer in the U.S. Army. He wrote his father to do all he 
could to prevent North Carolina from seceding, but that if it did, he would come 
home and fight with his brother. He did come home and became a Lt. Col. in the 
second N.C. Calvary Reg. Two other sons, John and Windel, served in the army. 
William and Eliza's four sons were too young to serve in the war. 

William Robinson was elected Mayor of Goldsboro in 1870. He and his wife 
remained active members of the First Baptist Church for many years. William 
was a strong supporter and benefactor in every program of the church from its 
beginning. Mrs. Robinson was a leader of the women of the church. A memorial 
window to Mrs. Robinson in our present church sanctuary was given in 1912 by 
her son, Dr. M.E. Robinson. 

William Robinson's last residence in Goldsboro was at 202 S. William St. 
After his death in 1877, his widow continued at the same address until her death 
in 1885. Their son, T.R. Robinson and his family continued to live at the same ad- 
dress until 1925. 

Source: Goldsboro News- Argus 

Minutes of First Baptist Church 

J.M. Hollowell's History of Early Goldsboro 

Family Records 

Charles S. Norwood 


1805 - 1870 
4th Pastor - 1847-1850 

"Elder Amos Johnston Battle, son of Joel and Mary P. Battle, was born at Shell 
Bank, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, on the eleventh day of January, 1805. 
His parents, being of an influential family and having ample means, gave to their 
son the superior advantages of a good education, which he continued to enrich 
by close study and extensive reading during the whole of his laborious and useful 

"Placed above the necessity of manual labor and possessing talents of a high 
order, the world proffered to him success and honors in the learned professions, 
the arena of politics and the emoluments of wealth, all of which he spurned as 
possessing inferior attractions to the sublimity and divine perfections of the 
Gospel of Christ. 


"In his twenty-third year, traveling through the country on horseback from 
North Carolina to his plantation in Florida, he stopped at a country church called 
Mount Zion in Georgia. It was there that he gave his heart to God, united with 
the Church and was baptized by the Rev. Jesse Mercer, founder of the Mercer 
University in Georgia. 

"Three years after, having returned to North Carolina, he was ordained to the 
ministry at a convention held with the Baptist Church at 'Rogers' Cross Roads,' in 
the County of Wake. 

"On the seventh of January, 1830, he married Miss Margaret Hearne Parker, 
of Edgecombe County, N.C. 

"In 1834 he was pastor of the Baptist Church in Nashville, N.C. in 1838 and 
1839 he was pastor of the Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. It was about that time 
that he was so interested in the building up of Wake Forest College, giving large- 
ly of his means and putting up out of private funds a large and handsome 

"The Institute was crowded with students; the rooms were unfurnished, 
Amos J. Battle was appointed a committee of one to secure a sufficient number of 
double moss matresses. There was no more useful member of the board than he. 
He ceased to attend these board meetings after 1844, as his time was devoted to 
the education of the young women of the Baptist Church. There are trees and 
shrubs now growing there that he planted with his own hands. 

"At the same time he was giving largely for the building of a Baptist Church in 

"From Raleigh he went to Wilmington, N.C, as pastor of the First Baptist 
Church there. 

"Within the first six months of his pastorate there he baptized one hundred 
and fifty members into the Church. 

"Learning that the Baptist Church in Raleigh was about to be sold for the 
heavy debt on it, he gave up the Wilmington Church and for two years (about 
1843 and 1844) he traveled over the State to raise money for that debt. Some year 
or two after that, feeling that Wake Forest College was doing all that could be 
done for the young men of his native State, he turned his attention to the building 
up of a college for girls. In the year 1847 he traveled extensively in the Chowan 
Association and stirred up the men of means to start the school in Murfreesboro, 
now known as the 'Chowan Baptist Female Institute.' For the first year he was 
steward of the college. 

"He was one of the leaders in the Baptist State Convention. He succeeded 
William Roles as Treasurer in 1836, and held the position until 1842. He was also 
Recording Secretary of the North Carolina Baptist Bible Society from 1837 to 
1842. He was popular and public spirited. During the Mexican War he was 
chosen chaplain of the North Carolina Volunteer Regiment. 

"In 1847-1850 he was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro. 

"In 1850 he moved to Wilson, N.C, where he lived until his death, spending 
his time traveling and preaching as an evangelist, sometimes in the eastern part 
of the State, and sometimes in the mountains. He was preaching at Rutherford- 
ton when attacked with cancer near his right eye, from which he died in Wilson, 
September 24th, 1870." 
Source: Tributes to my father & mother - Amos Johnston Battle by Jesse Mercer Battle 



1814 - 1892 

6th Pastor- 1851-1853 

In Memory of Rev. J.J. James 

Rev. Joshua John James died at his home near Yanceyville, Caswell County, 
N.C., on April 6th, 1892, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. 

He was born in Halifax County, Va., 
Nov. 30th, 1814. After obtaining a 
neighborhood education, he prepared for 
college at a classical school in Danville, Va. 
He then was a student at Wake Forest Col- 
lege three sessions, and after this taught 
school for two years at Peytonsburg 
Academy. He entered Columbian Univer- 
sity, Washington, D.C., where he 
graduated in 1841. He obtained a hope in 
Christ in his seventeenth year, and con- 
nected himself with the Baptist church in 
his native county. He was ordained to the , % 

gospel ministry in 1842 by the presbytery 
of the Dan River Association, at County 
Line Church, Halifax County, Virginia. 

In June, 1843, he settled in Caswell 

County, N.C., and became pastor of ':""■. 

Yanceyville and Trinity Baptist churches, 

located in the bounds of the Beulah „ JS Re £ £ J- -J a D mes . 

... . . -ill Editor Biblical Recorder 

Association, where he continued to labor Picture Courtesy Baptist Historical 

for eight years. In 1851-1852 he was pastor Collection 

of Goldsboro Missionary Baptist Church. 

In 1852, he entered upon the agency of a Baptist Female College in Oxford, 
N.C. which he succeeded in establishing. 

In 1853, he was called by the Baptist State Convention to the editorial chair of 
the BIBLICAL RECORDER, which paper he continued to edit until 1861, when 
he transferred it to Rev. J.D. Hufham. 

The remainder of his life he spent with his family on his farm in Caswell 
County, N.C, with the exception of a few years when he filled short pastorates at 
High Point, Milton and Ephesus. He also aided his ministerial brethren in their 
meetings and preached whenever occasion seemed to require, until failing health 
unfitted him for public service -a period of ten years, during which time he 
could only now and then preach, and this always seemed to be a pleasure to him. 

He was at one time Moderator of the Beulah Association, Trustee of Wake 
Forest College, and Vice President of the Baptist State Convention of North 

April 27, 1892 
by F.H.Jones 



1789 - 1867 

7th Pastor - 1853-1856 

Wait, Samuel, D.D.-One of the most judicious ministers of the State is ac- 
customed to say that Dr. Wait did more for the development of North Carolina 
than any man who ever lived in the State. 
Whether this be true or not, it is certain 
that his influence upon the Baptists was 
very great and very good; and as the man 
to whom more than to any other they are 
indebted for their State Convention as the 
first agent of that body, and especially, as 
the founder of Wake Forest College, he has 
laid his people under the most sacred 
obligations ever to cherish his memory 
with grateful affection. 

Dr. Wait was born in Washington Co., 
N.Y., Dec. 19, 1789; was baptized in Ver- 
mont, March 12, 1809; ordained at Sharon, 
Norfolk Co., Mass., June 3, 1818. Feeling 
the need of a better education, he went to 
Columbian College, Washington, D.C. It 
seems that his diploma bears the seal of 
Waterville College, Me., though his course 
of study was pursued at Columbian Col- 
lege, probably because the latter was not 
then empowered to confer degrees. He was 
for a time tutor in Columbian College, and first came to North Carolina in 
February, 1827, with Dr. Staughton, on a collecting tour for the college. Passing 
through Newbern, Dr. Wait made a favorable impression on the Baptists of the 
place, and he settled as their pastor in November, 1827. it would seem that in 
passing through North Carolina his mind was looking to the development of the 
North Carolina Baptists, for his journal shows that, soon after, in Charleston, 
S.C., he asked Dr. Manley if he did not think a State Convention might be 
organized in North Carolina. Dr. Manly feared that the time for such a move- 
ment had not yet come, but we no sooner find Dr. Wait settled at Newbern than 
we see him laboring for the accomplishment of two things, -the organization of a 
Convention and the establishment of a Baptist organ. The Convention he was 
permitted to see formed, in March, 1830, in Greenville, Pitt Co., and he was not 
only present at its organization but became its first corresponding secretary. For 
four years he traveled over the State, preaching the gospel, enlightening the peo- 
ple as to the cause of missions, removing prejudices, and uniting the disinte- 
grated Baptists into one body. So fully satisfied was he at this time of the necessi- 
ty of a periodical that, though no one knew who would publish such a paper, or 
when or where it would be issued, he began to take the names of subscribers at 
once, and thus prepared the way for the establishment of the Recorder, which 
began a few years later. In August, 1832, the Convention, sitting at Reeves' 
chapel Chatham Co., resolved to establish a manual labor school at Wake Forest, 


Rev. Samuel Wait 

Courtesy Baptist Historical Collection 

and a committee was appointed to secure a man from the North to take charge of 
it. In December following the board of the Convention met in Raleigh, and the 
former committee having failed to secure a master for their school, a new com- 
mittee, consisting of Wm. Hooper, Thos. Meredith, John Armstrong, and Samuel 
Wait, was appointed, and three of this committee recommended Samuel Wait for 
this position. Dr. Wait accepted the appointment, but was advised to continue 
his agency "for the Convention, as the school was not yet ready to go into opera- 
tion." The year 1833 was spent in circulating information about the school, in 
securing students, and furniture for the new establishment. From this time till 
June, 1846, a period of fourteen years, Dr. Wait was the president of this institu- 
tion. In 1851 he became president of a female school in Oxford, having spent the 
intervening years as pastor of Yanceyville and Trinity churches, in Caswell 
County, and three years, 1853-1856, as pastor of the Missionary Baptist Church 
of Goldsborough. 

In 1856 he retired to the home of his only child, Mrs. J.B. Brewer, at Wake 
Forest College, and spent the evening of his days amid the scenes of his 
usefulness, surrounded by loving kindred, and honored and respected by all. he 
died July 28, 1867. The State Convention, which met in Goldsborough the next 
autumn, expressed the desire that, as his history would be largely the history of 
the denomination in North Carolina, a memoir of him should be prepared by 
some suitable person. It was understood that Judge John Kerr was selected by his 
family to perform this service, and he expressed his willingness to undertake the 
grateful task, but for some cause it was never done. 

Source: Cathcart's 



1814- 1886 
8th Pastor - 1856-1858 

David Coulling was born in Richmond, July 23, 1814, and died in Baltimore, 
December 28, 1886. During a large part of his life he practiced dentistry and 
preached as occasion offered. He was pastor in Goldsboro, N.C.; in Richmond, at 
what is now Pine Street Church; in Accomac, and more recently in King and 
Queen and Gloucester Counties, the last named being his place of residence after 
1860. While in the Rappahannock Association he was pastor for several years of 
the Poroporone Church. This sketch is in substance the obituary from General 
Association minutes for 1887. He was especially gifted in prayer and his ministry 
was blessed with many conversions. A strong faith in the atonement upheld him 
through the feeble health of earlier years and under the sufferings of his last 

Source: VIRGINIA BAPTIST MINISTERS by George Braxton Taylor 
(Fourth Series). Page: 27. 

Elder Coulling was married in 1855 and moved to Goldsboro in 1856 with his 
wife Annie. They were both well received. Coulling inspired the people to move 
out and build their first church. After two years the young couple returned to 


Richmond, Pine Street Church. His wife, Annie W., died in Richmond in the 
29th year of her age. Her amiable disposition won for her the love and esteem of 
all with whom she associated. The couple were the parents of two sons. Her 
original home was Accomac, Va. 

Source: RELIGIOUS HERALD, Apr. 5, 1860 p. 56. 


1830 - 1861 
10th Pastor: January 1859 -July 1861 


It has seldom been our duty to record an event, more unexpected or melan- 
choly, than the death of Elder Keesee. On Wednesday of last week, we called to 
see him and found him sick, but -as we thought -improving and out of danger; 
and when we parted, it was with the mutually expressed expectation of meeting 
again on Sunday evening, when we were to preach for him. On Saturday evening 
a letter from a friend informed us that he had died at twelve o'clock on Friday 
night, and when we reached Goldsboro as we were returning to this city on Mon- 
day morning, we received from his sorrowing flock confirmation of the sad in- 

Elder Keesee was a native of Richmond, Va., where he spent the most of his 
life. He had enjoyed excellent educational advantages, having graduated at Rich- 
mond College and taken a course of study at the University of Virginia, and had 
made himself a fair scholar. His mind -clear, practical and well-balanced -had 
been thoroughly trained and fitted for extensive usefulness by the discipline of 
his earlier years. 

He made a profession of religion while quite young, and, if we mistake not, 
under the ministry of Rev. B. Manly, Jr., who was for several years his pastor, 
and of whom he often spoke in terms which showed that he still retained an af- 
fectionate remembrance of his former spiritual guide. 

The first two years of his ministry were spent in Virginia, but with what suc- 
cess we know not. In January, 1859, he commenced his labors in Goldsboro 
under very great disadvantages and discouragements. The church, feeble and 
scarcely organized, was embarrassed by a considerable debt, which had been 
contracted to secure a house of worship -the first that the Baptists had ever had 
in the town. Quietly, earnestly, patiently he entered on his work, and lived to see 
the debt of the church paid off, to witness repeated revivals under his ministry, 
and to enjoy the pleasing assurance that the work of the Lord was prospering 
around him. 

As a pastor he was highly gifted. His untiring industry and engaging manners, 
the kindness and cheerfulness of his disposition and the uniform consistency of 
his christian character, fitted him well for this position. His faithfulness in visit- 
ing the poor, comforting the sick and suffering, instructing the anxious, and urg- 
ing christians to their duties is attested by the steady growth of his church and 
their strong love for him. 


We knew him intimately for two years, and we have seldom seen one, whose 
whole being seemed to be brought so fully under the influence of renewing 
grace. With little of selfishness or worldly ambition, a temperament ardent but 
restrained by caution, a sound judgment, a mind well furnished and an earnest 
piety, he was not only a useful preacher and a successful pastor, but an agreeable 
companion and a faithful friend, and won for himself the confidence and esteem 
of the circle in which he moved. 

He died, as he had lived, in perfect peace, and surrounded by those whose 
hearts he had won by his many excellencies of character. With his usual regard 
for the feelings of others he refused to allow his parents to be informed concern- 
ing his illness lest it might give them needless anxiety, and when in answer to his 
own enquiries, he was told that he must die, he replied, that he had wished to 
live that he might preach the Gospel. Just before he died he repeated and joined 
in singing two verses of what had been through life his favorite hymn -"And can 
I yet delay," &c, and then quietly, as a sleeping infant, breathed his last. 
July 24, 1861 


1836 - 1905 

11th Pastor: January 1862 -January 1863 

Needham Bryan Cobb was born in Jones County, North Carolina, February 

1, 1836, the son of William Donnell Cobb and Anne Spicer Collier. After 

graduating at Hughes Academy, he entered 

the University of North Carolina, gradual. 

ing in three years in 1854. His M.A. degree 

from that institution in 1856 was the first Jk- ^*^ 

earned Master's Degree granted by the 

University, and his picture and diploma 

hang in the University's Graduate Office in 

Chapel Hill. He taught school in Wayne 

and Cabarrus Counties and was the first 

teacher of shorthand in the state. While he 

maintained an interest in education 

throughout live, making an outstanding 

contribution in that field, he turned early 

to the study of law, being admitted to the 

bar at Greenville, North Carolina where he 

practiced for a while. He made a further 

change in profession and religious belief, 

leaving the Episcopal Church to become a 

Baptist minister. In 1889 Judson College 

conferred upon him a Doctorate of Divini- J*- JJfedham Br ^ a !} c ° bb 

f North Carolina Collection 

ty degree. He did a great deal of missionary Wilson Library, u.N.C. 


work throughout the state and served as pastor for many Baptist churches, in- 
cluding that in Goldsboro. He held positions of State Superintendent of the Bap- 
tist Sunday School Board and as Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary 
and President of the Baptist State Convention for three terms. 

During the Civil War, Doctor Cobb served as Chaplain in Lee's Army and was 
in charge of colportage work among Carolina troops until the end of the war. He 
and Doctor J.D. Hufham published "The Daily Record", the first daily paper 
printed in Raleigh after the war, with the permission of the Northern officer in 
charge of the city. 

Doctor Cobb was known as an historian of his state and his denomination. He 
was the author of a small book of verse, "A Poetical Geography of North 
Carolina" containing a tribute to President Jefferson Davis at the time of his death 
and "A Reply To Gray's Elegy." 

In 1859 Doctor Cobb married Martha Louisa Cobb, a distant relative, from 
Falkland, North Carolina, the mother of twelve of his children and an inspiration 
to him throughout her life. She died in 1888 and he married in 1891 Ellen DeLisle 
Fennell of Sampson County, a devoted wife and the mother of three of his other 

Doctor Cobb died in 1905 in Sampson County, his grave being in the 
cemetery next to the old Baptist Church where he served as pastor at one time. 

Collier Cobb, Jr. 
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 
January 12, 1970 

Dr. Cobb was a very versatile teacher and he wrote his own textbook that 
was very unique. While teaching North Carolina geography his book of verse, "A 
Poetical Geography of North Carolina," had his students memorizing all the 
mountains, bays, sounds and creeks. He cataloged all 394 creeks in rhyme. A 
copy of Dr. Cobb's textbook is in our library, a gift to the church by Collier Cobb, 
Jr., a grandson. 

While serving as pastor of the Missionary Baptist Church in Goldsboro, he 
was also President of Goldsboro Female College until the college was closed 
down due to the Civil War, 1862-63. 

Both of Dr. Cobb's parents, William Donnell Cobb and Anne Spicer Collier, 
are buried in Willowdale Cemetery, Goldsboro, N.C, very near the Confederate 
Monument. Dr. Cobb's grandparents were John Cobb and Ann Nancy Whitfield. 
She was daughter of Brig. Gen. Bryan Whitfield of Whitehall (Seven Springs). 

Charles S. Norwood 
Goldsboro, N.C. 



1833 - 
12th Pastor: January 1863 - September 1864 

Elder Pleasant Daniel Gold, was born in Cleveland county, N.C., March 
25th, 1833. In 1853, when in the 20th year of his age, he joined the Missionary 
Baptists at Double Springs church, and was 
baptized by Elder Joseph Suttle. A short 
time afterward, he set in with A.W. Bur- 
ton, Esq., to read law, but before coming to 
the bar was moved by the revival dis- 
courses of Elder T.C. Teasdale, D.D., (who 
was then holding a protracted meeting at 
Shelby, N.C.,) to engage in preaching the 
Gospel of Christ. In 1857 he was licensed 
by the church at Zion Hill, in Cleveland 
County. In 1861 he was ordained to the full 
work of the ministry at Chesterville, S.C., 
by Elders Griffith and Hinton, and became 
a very acceptable and popular preacher. 
On the 22d January, 1863, he was united in 
marriage with Miss Julia Pipkins, of Golds- 
boro, N.C, by Elder N.B. Cobb. Elder 
Gold states "that a few years after this I 
was very much exercised about my own 
condition, and afterward became con- 
vinced that salvation is of the Lord Jesus, who is the righteousness of His people. 
I also was for years much exercised concerning the doctrine and practices of the 
Missionary Baptists, and becoming convinced that they did not hold the doctrine 
of God our Savior, and had also departed from the ancient landmarks in accep- 
ting so many institutions of men, my mind was irresistibly led to the Primitive 
Baptists. I united with them, and was baptized by Elder C.B. Hassell, at Kehukee 
church, Halifax county, N.C, on the 2d Sunday in March, 1870, since which 
time I have been with them, and, having obtained mercy of the Lord, I continue 
to this present." 

In regard to Elder Gold's change of views we will make no remarks. We 
recognize him as a christian brother, and a good and useful man in the vineyard 
of the Lord. He is now editor of "Zion's Landmark," a semi-monthly, devoted to 
the Primitive cause, at Wilson, N.C. We wish him great success in his religious 
pilgrimage on earth, and a happy entrance upon a full fruition of permanent hap- 
piness in the eternal world above. 

Elder Pleasant Daniel Gold 

by John R. Logan 



1834 - 1894 

13th Pastor: September 1864 - April 1866 

18th Pastor: March 1883 -January 1886 

Dr. Theodore Whitfield was born in Hinds County, Mississippi, on January 
31st, 1834. He came of North Carolina Baptist stock. His great-uncle, Lewis 
Whitfield, preached at pleasant Plains and was Moderator of the Kehukee 
Association in North Carolina for many years. His father, Benj. Whitfield, moved 
to Mississippi from North Carolina. Dr. Whitfield's mother was the grand- 
daughter of Lemuel Hatch of Jones County, N.C., "a man of the highest social 
standing and a leader in the councils of the American Revolutionists." Her father, 
Benj. Hatch, moved from North Carolina to Alabama. It was from his mother 
that Dr. Whitfield inherited his aesthetic nature. 

Dr. Whitfield returned to North Carolina for his college training, graduating 
at the University in 1854, third in his class. He returned to Mississippi expecting 
to be a planter like his father, but after two years decided to make his life worth- 
while. He entered the ministry, taking his theological course at Newton, near 
Boston, where he graduated in 1858. 

His first pastorate was at Danville, Ky., where he was ordained. He was 
pastor in Aberdeen, Miss., in 1861 and in 1863 he did work among the paroled 
prisoners at Demopolis, Ala. In 1864, he accepted call to Goldsboro, N.C. His 
wife was a great helper to him here during the trying times of the war, as well as 
through his life, and she "actually canvassed the Federal camps for money 
enough to buy a reed organ for the church." 

He married Miss Annie E. Morehead, daughter of Hon. Jas. T. Morehead of 
Greensboro and niece of Gov. John M. Morehead, in 1859. He preached in 
Jackson and Meridian, Miss., and for one year taught at Mississippi College. In 
1874 He accepted pastorate of Baptist Church at Charlotte, where he remained 
until 1882. Here a monumental work was done by him and his unusually 
talented wife. A new church was built. "Even then so strong was their inferiority 
complex, it was argued that Try on Street was too prominent a street for a Baptist 
church and anyway they should 'wait till Tilden takes his seat'." It was during this 
pastorate that my wife's mother (Mrs. T.N. Ivey, nee Dowd), with her mother, 
Mrs. James C. Dowd, were baptized by Dr. Whitfield. In 1883, Dr. Whitfield 
became pastor of Goldsboro for a second time. Then in 1886 he became pastor at 
New Bern and remained until the fall of 1887, when he went to Richmond as 
pastor of Fulton church in that city, which was to be his last pastorate. 

It will be of interest to our women to know that when the Woman's Mis- 
sionary Union, auxiliary of Southern Baptist Convention, was organized in 1888, 
that Mrs. Theo. Whitfield had the distinguished honor of presiding at the 
organization meeting. The last public meeting she attended was the Richmond 
Jubilate (W.M.U. 1914), where she was an honored guest speaking to the women 
then assembled, of some of her interesting reminiscences. 

Dr. Whitfield died May 28, 1894, and his wife died November 12th, 1914. 

Their daughter, Miss Emma Whitfield, a very talented woman, died in 1932. 
She was an outstanding artist, and among many of her pictures, she painted a 


portrait of Miss Fannie Heck. The only surviving child is Mr. Geo. H. Whitfield 
of Richmond, to whom I am indebted for the facts concerning his brilliant father 
and at one time an active statesman in our beloved association. 

Atlantic Baptist Association 

Dr. Whitfield, while born in Mississippi, had many roots and connections in 

Wayne County. His father, Benjamin, was born in Wayne County near Seven 

Springs and was the second son of William Whitfield, II and his fourth wife, 

Sarah Bryan Hatch. 

Dr. Whitfield as pastor of First Baptist in 1864 followed his kinsman 

Needham Bryan Cobb, who was pastor in 1862-1863. 

His daughter, Emma Morehead Whitfield (1874-1932), besides being a very 
talented artist, was a writer of note and compiled the book of genealogy "Whit- 
field, Bryan, Smith". A grandson, Theodore Marshall Whitfield of Westminister, 
Md. edited and published the work in 1948. 

Copy in Wayne County Public Library. 

Charles S. Norwood 
March 5, 1975 

at the time of their marriage in 1859. 



1830 - 

14th Pastor: April 1866 - May 1868 

Hardwicke, J.B., D.D., was born in Buckingham Co., Va., Aug. 9, 1830. At 
the age of twelve he made a profession of religion, and united with the Enon Bap- 
tist church. In 1852 he was ordained at the Enon church, in order that he might 
accept calls to two churches in Campbell Co., Va. He at once became prominent 
among the young preachers of the country. In 1853 he accepted a call to Green- 
field, Va., where he remained for seven years. Here his special mission seems to 
have been to aid in rescuing the churches from the growing influence of anti- 
mission teachers. His next call was from Danville, which he declined, and after 
the call was repeated, he agreed to divide his time with them until they could 
secure a pastor. In 1860 he accepted a call to the Second church of Petersburg, 
and remained there until 1864. Now his time was divided between his church 
and the hospitals that were established in Petersburg during the war. His next 
field was Goldsborough, N.C., where he spent several years of successful labor. 
Dr. Hardwicke and Dr. Harper ordained Charles J. Nelson May 1, 1866. Hard- 
wicke was Host Church Pastor to the State Convention, October 16-19, 1867. 
Afterwards he removed to Parkersburg, W. Va. here he commenced the publica- 
tion of the Baptist Record, which he edited for five years. His efforts here aided in 
uniting the Baptists of West Virginia in their support of one general organization, 
and in harmonizing churches that had been rent asunder by the civil war. In 1873 
the college of West Virginia conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. 
The year following he accepted a call to Atchison, Kansas. He served there for 
two years and nine months, was then called to Leavenworth, the largest city in 
the State. While in Kansas he was recording secretary, then president, and after- 
wards corresponding secretary of the State Convention. He was also a member of 
the board of directors, and a trustee of Ottawa University. 


Baptist Historical Collection Wake Forest 


1843 - 1899 

15th Pastor: April 1868 - March 1871 

Also Sunday School Superintendent for same period 

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Dr. Sanderlin, which oc- 
curred at Baltimore, Md., November 6, after a long and trying period of suffer- 

George W. Sanderlin was born in Camden County in 1843. He was educated 
at Wake Forest College, from which he entered the army of the Confederacy, and 
served gallantly from 1861 in many battles to the end of the war, having received 
the commission of Captain in the service. Thereupon he entered the Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating in 1867. He was active in the Sunday 


School work in North Carolina during the year following; and in 1868 was or- 
dained to the full work of the Gospel Ministry. His first pastorate was at Golds- 
boro. Subsequently he became pastor of 
the Franklin Square Baptist Church, Balti- 
more, which he had to give up in 1876 on 
account of the precarious state of his 
health. A more retired life being advisable, 
he returned to Wayne County and follow- 
ed agriculture, upon which subject his con- 
tributions to the press won extensive con- 
fidence and admiration. In 1888 he ac- 
cepted the nomination of Auditor of the 
Commonwealth, and entered upon a politi- 
cal campaign, in which he distinguished 
himself as a popular leader and orator. He 
was elected and served as Auditor four 
years. In 1893 he became Fourth Auditor 
of the Treasury of the United States, which 
position he occupied until his physical 
powers were undermined by disease. 

Such is the outline of a career unusual- 
ly brilliant, remarkably many-sided. As a 
preacher he was so gifted that from the 
beginning it was plain that the foremost 
pulpits would be at his call; as a soldier no one ever served more bravely or 
faithfully; as a public man North Carolina has had few sons who achieved so 
brilliant a rise to popularity. But after all has been said, he was best loved by 
those who breathed the atmosphere of his personality. Genial, generous, 
guileless, tender, brilliant in conversation, courteous of manner, cultured in 
heart and mind; schooled in life's cares and joys, and ready of sympathy -he was 
so constituted that men who came within his reach were bound to his heart. So 
that the news of his death, even though disease has shut him away from his 
friends these many months, will roll a wave of sorrow across our State. 

Of his invalid life we would fain speak a word. Bowed and bound by disease, 
his heart turned to heaven; and in the shadow of death he became the life of the 
sad, still home of the sick and weary. Influential in the day of vigor, it is a ques- 
tion if he were not stronger in the last years of seeming weakness. 

His was a perplexed career. Affliction cut him off from his heart's calling. 
Public honor called him from retirement. And the shadow of disease fell again 
after a few years of brilliant success, no more to release him. Throughout all he 
did well. He was loyal to his church and his college, to his State, and to his con- 
victions, and most of all to God. He rests; and it is well. 

NOTE: Wife, Eliza Wooten, daughter of Council Wooten and Eliza Isler 
Wooten, Lenoir County. 

Rev. George W. Sanderlin 

Courtesy Baptist Historical Collection 

November 15, 1899 



1844 - 1895 

16th Pastor: August 1871 -January 1876 

Elder Columbus Durham although never connected at any time with either 
the Broad River or King's Mountain Association was nevertheless reared within 
the bounds of the Kings Mountain body, 
and joined the church at High Shoals, one 

of the King's Mountain churches, we ^„ 

therefore, transfer to our work the sketch Jip> Aa^ 

found in the Baptist Encyclopedia, by Dr. J -y|k 

Cathcart, which we fully endorse. ^^ 

Elder C. Durham was born in Ruther- fPI m 

ford county N.C. April 28th, 1844. His *fjf* 

mother was the sister of ex-Gov. Baxter of ^ 

Arkansas, and of Judge John Baxter of Ten- ttwaa^ -w 

nessee. Mr. Durham was baptized in 
September, 1860; entered the army April 
in 1861; was wounded four times, though 
but a boy, was blessed in conducting 
prayer meetings in the army; was received 
by the Board of Education as a student at 
Wake Forest in 1867; graduated in 1871; 
was pastor at Goldsboro from August, 
1871, to January, 1876, during which time 
the membership of the church more than 
doubled, an old debt was paid, and a 
pastor's study and parsonage were built; 
settled in Durham in 1876, where, by his labors, the church has been greatly 
strengthened, a new and beautiful house of worship has been built, also a par- 
sonage. Mr. Durham has preached in twenty-five counties in North Carolina and 
three in South Carolina, and has baptized over 800 persons. He is a trustee of 
Wake Forest College. 

We take pleasure in adding that Elder Durham is among the most promising 
young ministers belonging to the Baptist denomination in the State. 

Elder Columbus Durham moved on to other churches in the state. He became 
the General Secretary of the State Convention in 1888 and held that position until 
his death in 1895 - called the Great Columbus Durham. He returned to 
Goldsboro in 1880 and 1891 when our church was host to the State Convention. 


Rev. Columbus Durham 

Courtesy Baptist Historical Collection 

Source: Church Minutes 

Cathcart Baptist Encyclopedia 



1831 - 1893 
17th Pastor: February 1876 -January 1883 

This useful man was born in Fayetteville, N.C., March 17, 1831. His parents, 
Fendal and Mary Ivey, were blessed with three children, Henry, ... and Ann. The 
latter was the mother of Rev. M.V. McDuf- 
fie, of New Brunswick, N.J. 

Henry served for several years in the 
Observer office in Fayetteville under the 
late E.J. Hale, and there acquired that 
punctuality and precision which marked 
his character through life. 

At twelve years of age he was baptized, 
together with some seventy others, by Dr. 
James McDaniel and connected himself 
with the Fayetteville church. It was his lot 
to preach the funeral of Dr. McDaniel. In 
1854 he was licensed by the Fayetteville 
church, and at once entered upon a course 
of study at Wake Forest College, gradu- 
ating as valedictorian of his class with the 
degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1860. In 1866 
he took the degree of Master of Arts. Just 
after his graduation he entered the 
Seminary at Greenville, S.C., and in 1861 
began teaching at Reddlesville, Ga. When 
the war drum was sounded and the battle 
flag unfurled, he raised a company of brave men and went to the front. He was 
soon made Chaplain of the Fifty-seventh Regiment North Carolina State Troops. 
In 1863 he was ordained at Fayetteville and became pastor of a church at Athens, 
Ga., serving for ten years. During 1873 and 1874 he was actively engaged as 
agent for his Alma Mater. In 1875 he went to Lexington, Ga., and in 1876 he 
came back to his native State serving the church at Goldsboro until 1883, when 
he returned to Lexington, Ga. For two years he was pastor at Elberton, Ga., two 
years at Greensboro, Ga., and for fourteen months previous to his death at 
Augusta, Ga. 

In 1866 he was married to Miss Annie C. Cox, by whom he had two children, 
a son and daughter, the former dying while an infant. 

A long and useful life was closed in Augusta, Ga., May 5, 1893. Nearly fifty 
years a Christian, nearly forty years a minister. 

His remains were brought to Fayetteville and interred in the Old Cemetery, 
Dr. Skinner, of Raleigh, conducting the funeral exercises from the Baptist 
church, assisted by Rev. F.H. Jones, of Chatham, Va. 

Source: N. C. Baptist Almanac 1894 

Fitz Henry Ivey 



1834 - 1894 

13th Pastor: September 1864 - April 1866 

18th Pastor: March 1883 -January 1886 

I had an engagement at College. But my father sternly forbade my marriage 
until I should be 21 years old. This I felt he had a right to do, ... I returned home 
to wait the time. Alas! how evanescent are the loves of College boys. We ex- 
changed letters only once. Then I heard no more of the young lady, until after her 

Theodore Whitfield did not go home 
immediately, for in 1854 he was graduated 
with third honor. He returned to Mississip- 
pi with his head filled with hopes of com- 
bining the practice of law with the manage- 
ment of a large plantation. Before long 
these were forsaken and he entered the 
Newton Theological Institution, Newton 
Center, Mass. It was not unnatural that his 
views concerning slavery underwent 
change during his sojourn in the state of 
Garrison, Beecher, and Channing. 
Henceforth he questioned the moral right 
of slavery. In 1858 he completed his work 
in the Institution and sought a pastorate. 
Concerning his trip home he wrote: Dr. Theodore Whitfield 

/ stopped at Greensboro, N.C., to visit my friend . .[and] college classmate, Mr. 
Robert M. Sloan. There I met Miss Annie E. Morehead, daughter of Hon. James 
Turner Morehead. I was charmed with her gentle spirit, her affable manners, . . . [and] 
her extraordinary conversational talents. On reaching home, I soon felt I must return 
to North Carolina . . . [to] see again the most attractive young lady whom I had ever 

Theodore Whitfield and Annie Morehead were married November 11, 1859. 

In 1859, too, Theodore began his ministry in Danville, Dey. Following 
resignation from this charge, the young preacher returned to spend 1860 in his 
father's home -Magnolia -"the dearest spot this earth has ever had for me." After 
a visit to Greensboro, N.C., Theodore Whitfield moved to Aberdeen, Miss., 
where he became pastor of the Baptist Church and ministered to both the whites 
and negroes of the community. War was shortly upon them. With Grant's army 
besieging Vicksburg, Miss., Theodore and his wife attempted to lead to North 
Carolina and her father's home some of their slaves and stock. In Greensboro, 
Theodore became pastor of a struggling church and like others gave of his time to 
sick and needy soldiers about the town. He also served the Confederacy for a 
time in the Quartermaster's Department. In 1864 he moved to Goldsboro, N.C., 
to supply the Baptist Church and to serve in the hospitals the sick and wounded 
of both armies until he was stricken with camp fever. 


The mind of Theodore Whitfield was at this time perhaps as much unsettled 
as his country. He gave up the church in Goldsboro, returned to Mississippi, took 
a house in Jackson, declined a church in Alabama, worked a little on a paper and 
got along as best he could without any permanent work. For a time he turned 
against the ministry, but with the beginning of 1869 he accepted the offer of the 
First Baptist Church in Meridian, Miss., where he remained until the fall of 1872 
when he joined the faculty of Mississippi College. After a year teaching 
languages Theodore Whitfield gave this up and undertook, 1873, the 
superintendency of the state institution for the blind at Jackson, Miss. This year 
he remembered as one of the most pleasant periods of his life, but with the 
shake-up following the election of Gen. Ames to be governor a new superinten- 
dent was chosen and Theodore Whitfield was without a job. 

A few weeks later, 1874, Theodore Whitfield returned to the ministry, this 
time in Charlotte, N.C. In 1878 Wake Forest College, N.C., conferred upon him 
the degree of doctor of divinity. Succeeding years found Dr. Whitfield occupying 
pastorates near Spartanburg, S.C., in Goldsboro, New Bern, N.C, and Rich- 
mond, Va. 

Dr. Whitfield was a most ardent friend of missions and at one time served as 
Vice-President for North Carolina on the Foreign Mission Board, of the Southern 
Baptist Convention. 

His death, May 28, 1894, was the occasion for an outpouring of witness by 
those who knew him, testifying both to his worth to his community and church 
and to the love they bore him. 


1864 - 1946 
19th Pastor: October 1886 - May 1887 

Thomas Dixon, Jr. was born in a small farm house in Cleveland County on 
the outskirts of Shelby, N.C. in 1864. His father was a Baptist preacher and his 
mother was a Miss McAfee from South 

Thomas Dixon entered Wake Forest at 
the young age of 15 and graduated in 1883 
with the highest honors, capturing all of 
the medals available particularly in the 
area of speech. He was already being 
recognized as a genius, having ability to 
speak on most any subject. 

His first venture into business was to 
hang out his shingle for the practice of law. 
He had won a seat in the North Carolina 
General Assembly before he was even of 
age to vote. Eager to be speaking before the 
people, he abandoned his lawyer's career 
and was called to be the pastor of the First 
Baptist Church of Goldsboro in 1886. He 
had married the year before Miss Harriett 
Bussey of Columbus, Georgia. 

Thomas Dixon was a restless person. 
He moved from Goldsboro to Raleigh and 
then to Boston and then to New York City, 


Thomas Dixon, Jr. 

all within a three year period. While in New York he was enormously popular 
and drew crowds exceeding the capacity of the churches. John D. Rockefeller of- 
fered to build a large auditorium that would hold thousands of people, but this 
never developed as Dixon began receiving demands for lecturing on many sub- 
jects, including politics and racial problems throughout the South with which he 
was well acquainted. His mother had inherited more than 100 slaves and he 
knew the problems first hand. 

In early 1900 Dixon turned to writing and wrote 22 novels and 9 plays, most 
of which dealt with the problems of the South and slavery. His book entitled 
THE CLANSMAN was so popular that it was made into a moving picture entitled 
"The Birth of a Nation", from which Dixon received a fortune. He moved to 
Hollywood and formed his own company and started other pictures based on his 
other novels, none of which were successes so he lost most of his fortune in this 
venture. He returned to North Carolina and attempted a real estate development 
in the mountains of North Carolina which he called "Little Switzerland". This too 
was a failure and he was soon a broken man and was happy to accept an appoint- 
ment as Clerk of the Federal Court for Eastern North Carolina, which was of- 
fered him by Judge Isaac Meekins, a former classmate at Wake Forest. 

Dixon's first wife having died earlier, he married a second time in 1939 to 
Madelyn Donavan who had played one of the leads in his picture "The Mark of 
the Beast". Thomas Dixon died in Raleigh on April 2, 1946. His body was re- 
turned to Cleveland County by Lee B. Weathers, publisher of the Shelby Star and 
was buried in the Sunset Cemetery, Shelby, N.C. 

Dixon's father and two older brothers were both Baptist preachers and a 
sister, Dr. Delia Dixon-Carroll, a professor at Meredith College for many years. I 
do not find any record of Thomas Dixon Jr. being an ordained minister although 
he was a brilliant student at Wake Forest, won a scholarship to Johns Hopkins 
University where he met Woodrow Wilson and became interested in politics and 
civic welfare. In New York he developed a close friendship with Theodore 
Roosevelt and his family. He was a charmer with his eloquent speech. He was 
not a Reverend. He left the church in 1897. 

Source: Charlotte Observer, May 1934 Charles S. Norwood 

Dr. H.G. Jones, UNC 1970 

20th Pastor: 1888 - 1891 




" So tench us to number our days thai we may apply our 

hearts unto wisdom." 
" The pence of Clod, which pn.isclh all understanding, keep 

your hearts and minds thrnur/h Jesus Christ." 

J. S. DILL, 
Pastor of Baptist Church 

Goldaljoro.Janufiry 1, 18HO. 




1853 - 1915 
21st Pastor: 1891 - 1893 

Jesse Hartwell Edwards was born April 4, 1853, in Society Hill, S.C. His 
parents were Robert George Edwards and Ellen Hartwell Edwards. He was 
named for his uncle, Dr. Jesse Boardman Hartwell, who was missionary to China 
for many years. He was directly descended from Phillip James, the first pastor of 
the old Welsh Neck Church, and Joshua Edwards, the third pastor of the same 

Young Hartwell spent his childhood and early youth years in the little village 
where he was born, experiencing during those years the tense prewar years, the 
War Between The States, and Reconstruction. 

He attended Columbian University (now George Washington University) in 
Washington, D.C., from which he was graduated with honor in 1873. For two 
years he taught Latin and Greek at his Alma Mater. Feeling a strong call to 
become a minister, he entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 
Greenville, S.C, in 1875, and moved with the school to Louisville, Kentucky. He 
completed his course there in 1878. 

Mr. Edwards first pastorate was in Rock Hill, S.C. His next field was Oxford, 
Mississippi. While there he was married to Kate Mclver Watson, daughter of 
Col. and Mrs. R.B. Watson of Ridge Spring, S.C. From Oxford he went to 
Cheraw, S.C, and there to Goldsboro, N.C His next pastorate was in Fayette- 
ville, N.C. While there he was persuaded to spend many months raising funds 
for Meredith College in Raleigh. This task completed, he accepted a call to 
Blacksburg, Virginia. The church felt that a man of his educational advantages 
would be a suitable one to work with the young college students at V.P.I. He 
spent almost a year in Maryland doing mission work. Then he returned to his 
native state, serving churches in Ridge Spring, North, and Brunson. 

He suffered a heart attack while visiting his daughter, Lucy Edwards Wade, 
in Morehead City, N.C, and died July 6, 1915 

Dr. R.W. Sanders said of him: 

"Brother Edwards was highly endowed intellectually, the best blood flowed in his 
veins, he was of studious turn and habits of mind, was a thorough scholar in his at- 
tainments, and withal, a high toned, pure minded Christian gentleman. " 

Jesse Hartwell Edwards is buried in Morehead City, N.C, in the cemetery on 
22nd Street, according to nephew Frank Remsburg of Goldsboro, N.C. 

Jesse Hartwell Edwards was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Goldsboro, 
N.C, 1891-1893. 

Information by: Lucy Edwards Wade 

and Charles S. Norwood 



1850 - 1927 

22nd Pastor: September 1893 - May 1895 

1900 - 1903 

C.A. Jenkens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1850. Soon after the 
Civil War he went to the University of Virginia and remained there until he had 
completed his education. 

He married Lillie Shepherd Cocke in 
1873, and after teaching in Virginia a year, j ^_^ 

became convinced that Baptists' doctrines 

were right, and left the Episcopal Church # | 

in which he had been reared and became 

not only a Baptist, but a Baptist preacher. -^ 

His first charge was a small North Carolina 
church, his first pastorates being in 
Franklinton, Warsaw and Louisburg. 

He owed for his education, and 
published "Baptist Doctrines," his first 
book, during the first pastorate. The book 
yielded him exactly enough to pay the 
debt. .' „^ r f3§t^. 

This man of God, like Elijah, was a 
man of prayer, and there were many crises 
in his life when he brought down fire on 
Carmel by prayer. He was true to his con- 
victions and uncompromising with princi- C A jenkens 
pie. He believed in a very personal God, 

and the Bible from cover to cover, he was especially gifted in public prayer, and 
was often called upon by civic organizations for this service. His interpretation of 
the Scriptures was always given after careful study, and his preaching attracted 
old and young alike. 

Other pastorates followed: Oxford, New Bern, Oxford again, Goldsboro, 
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goldsboro again, Chapel Hill, Spray, Shelby, 
Mount Moriah, Garner, Wendell and Zebulon. 

During these active years he wrote: "Pot Hooks," "What Made Me a Baptist," 
"The Bride's Return," and "Good Gumption." His last work, "Christ at the Phone," 
was published a short time before his death, which occurred at the age of 
seventy-seven on February 8th, 1927, at his home in Clayton. 

His many friends here in Raleigh were shocked to hear of the death of Rev. 
C.A. Jenkens, which occurred at Rex Hospital in Raleigh. He was buried at 
Clayton, the funeral services being conducted in the Baptist church by the 
pastor, Rev. Ira E.D. Andrews, assisted by Rev. O.L. Stringfield, a life-long 
friend of Brother Jenkens. 

For several years Brother Jenkens had been in feeble health and had not been 
able to attend our general denominational meetings. When in the active ministry 


he was a regular attendant upon the meetings of the Convention and took an ac- 
tive part in its proceedings. 

Brother Jenkens was a finished scholar, an able preacher, a gifted writer, a 
man of deep convictions and thoroughly consecrated to the work of the Lord. He 
was loyal to the Bible, upon whose truths his soul feasted daily. 

On April 9th, 1923, his wife died at the age of 68. 

There were eight children born of this union; only three are living. They are: 
Rev. Carter A. Jenkens of Louisville, Kentucky, who at an early age became a 
minister; Mrs. Harry Hobson of Hampton, Virginia; and Mrs. D.J. Thurston of 
Clayton, North Carolina. (These facts were furnished by Brother Jenkens' 
daughter, Mrs. Thurston.) 

Daughter Stella married J.J. Robinson of Goldsboro - two daughters, Louise 
and Margaret (Sears) , 3 1 1 S. John St. , Goldsboro, N.C. 

and Charles S. Norwood. 

23rd Pastor: 1895 - 1899 

Bro. James Long was from Unionville, N.C. He was pastor during the last 
three years of Charles J. Nelson's life. He was the pastor to celebrate Nelson's 
long service to the church at a special event in 1895. Program can be read in 
Nelson's biography in this book. 

by Charles S. Norwood 

Source: Church Minutes 

Mr. and Mrs. James Long 1895 1899 



1873 - 1965 

24th Pastor: 1895 for 3 Months 

26th Pastor: 1898 - 1901 

William Carey Newton was born October 6, 1873, the son of Rev. Columbus 
C. Newton and Carnelia Herring Newton. 

Newton received his B.A. degree from Wake Forest in 1891. He also received 
his D.D. degree from Wake Forest. He was ordained in Wake Forest in 1893. He 
attended Rochester Theological Seminary from 1893 to 1897. 

Newton was married in 1898 in Geneva, New York, to Mary Louise Wood- 
cock. She was born August 17, 1876. Her parents were Philip R. Woodcock and 
Ruby Pearce Woodcock. 

Newton was first pastor at the Alexander Avenue Baptist Church in New 
York City, N.Y., 1898-1899. His second pastorate was at the First Baptist Church 
in Goldsboro, N.C., 1899-1901, and his third pastorate was at the First Church in 
Greensboro, N.C., 1901-1903. 

On October 6, 1902, Rev. Newton was appointed missionary to China. He 
sailed January 10, 1903, for Tengchow Shantung. He remained at this post until 
1908 as a pastor. He then moved to Bush Theological Seminary, Hwanghsien, 
China, where he taught in the Seminary from 1908 to 1924. He became dean of 
the institution. From 1924 to 1926, Dr. Newton did evangelistic work in China. 

Dr. Newton's latter years were spent in Ginter Park, Richmond, Virginia 
where he died in 1965 at the age of ninety-two 

Rev. William Carey Newton 

Mrs. Wm. C. Newton 



1868 - 1941 

26th Pastor: 1903 - 1908 

Dr. Fry was born the son of Thomas N. Fry and Lydia Frances Seawell in 
Carthage North Carolina on March 3, 1868. His mother died as a result of 
childbirth on the day of Mr. Fry's birth and left the baby to be cared for by his 
grandparents, Absolom Fry and his wife. The care of the baby fell mostly to Ab- 
solom's daughter, Fannie, who was only eight years older than he. Thomas Fry 
remarried to Betty Williams, and after her death to Martha McDonald. 

William went to school in a one-room log schoolhouse which had one door, 
one fireplace, and one window. 

There were college days later. He went to Wake Forest College and also to the 
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky. (Dr. Fry has jok- 
ingly said that it took him two centuries to get a college degree, his M.A. from 
Wake Forest, his B.A. in 1899 and then his M.A. in 1900). 

After his graduation, the field of teaching and pastorate were both open to 
him. He chose the pastorate and went immediately to assume care of the First 
Baptist Church in the city of Goldsboro, in his native state. He met and married 
soon after Miss Lucy Jones Wyatt on June 12, 1902 in Raleigh, North Carolina. To 
this union, at Carthage, North Carolina, Elisabeth Seawell Fry was born, 
September 4, 1903. Ruth Jerman Fry was born, January 27, 1906, shortly after 
Dr. Fry had assumed the pastorate of the First Baptist Church at Goldsboro, N.C. 
William Francis Fry, Jr. made his appearance on October 4, 1907 at Goldsboro, 
North Carolina too. 

In late November, 1907, Dr. Fry and his little family made the long journey to 
Texas to accept the pastorate of the First Baptist Church at Wichita Falls, Texas. 
Dr. Fry remained in Wichita Falls, Texas as pastor of this church only two short 
years as he was offered a great challenge to accept a position as head of the Bible 
and Greek Department in the Baptist Simmons College (now Hardin-Simmons 
University) at Abilene, Texas. Dr. Fry held this position for the next twenty-six 

Four more children were born at Abilene, Texas: Spilman Wyatt Fry, 
November 8, 1809; died March 11, 1936, Houston, Texas; John Klipstein Fry, 
March 7, 1912 - died same day; Mary Phillips Fry Schulz, May 2, 1913; Cornelia 
Klipstein Fry Sowell, June 28, 1916. 

His next move was to Lubbock, Texas to head the Chair of Biblical Literature 
at the newly established Texas Technilogical College there. It was here that Dr. 
Fry passed away on May 1, 1941 and was buried in San Antonio. 

Ruth Jerman, their daughter, has become a gifted writer and has written two 
volumes on the life of Dr. Fry and his family and has donated them to the church 
library in memory of her father. The title is "Oh, That Reminds Me." The books 
are published by her son-in-law William F. Hamlet of Houston, Texas. Ruth Jer- 
man is married to Ben Schmidt and they reside in Baltimore, Maryland. 


My father, William Francis Fry (about 

My mother, Lucy Jones Wyatt Fry 
(about 1900). 

The above two pictures courtesy of Ruth Jerman Fry from her book "Oh, That 
Reminds Me". 

In the summer of 1980 the church had a rare visit in Ruth Jerman Fry 
Schmidt and her brother, William F. Fry, Jr. They were both born in Goldsboro 
in 1906-07, being children of Dr. and Mrs. W.F. Fry. Dr. Fry, age 26, was pastor 
of our church from 1904-1907. This was their first visit in 72 years. They did not 
remember Goldsboro and were anxious to see the church and town in which 
they were born while their father was pastor here. In remembrance of their visit 
they started a copy machine fund with a gift of $200.00. W.F. Fry, Jr. lives in 
California and his sister, Ruth Jerman Fry Schmidt, has lived in Baltimore for the 
past 45 years. Her husband, Ben Schmidt, is an artist and creator of jewelry. 

Through an exchange of letter, we have received pictures, cards, and a book 
written by Mrs. Ruth Jerman Fry Schmidt entitled OH THAT REMINDS ME. I 
have read the book from cover to cover and find it very interesting and infor- 
mative as to the life history of Dr. and Mrs. Fry as well as a history of her own 
life. It was sent to me to read with a request that it be placed in the library of the 
church for others to enjoy and learn of Dr. Fry's family. 

Charles S. Norwood 
Past Church Historian 



1864 - 1932 
27th Pastor: 1908 - 1922 

George Thomas Watkins was born May 22, 1864, the son of John Alexander 
Watkins and Margaret Reid Watkins. He was born in Person County, North 

He was educated at Homers High 
School, Wake Forest College and the 
Southern Baptist Seminary, he was ordain- 
ed at Flat River Association Enon Church, 

He was married in Person County, 
September 3, 1890, to Nannie Lois Merritt, 
who was born March 31, 1867, the 
daughter of Dr. William Merritt and Mary 
Catherine Hamlett Merritt of Roxboro, 
North Carolina. 

After graduation Rev. Watkins was 
first pastor of a Baptist Church in 
Clarksville, Virginia. Then he moved to 
Roxboro, North Carolina, where most of 
his children were born. His third pastorate 
was at the First Baptist Church of 
Goldsboro from 1908-1922. Soon after his 
arrival in Goldsboro, a movement was started that resulted in the building of a 
new brick church, the present edifice. On completion of the church in 1912, the 
church was host to the State Baptist Convention. Rev. Watkins, while pastor in 
Goldsboro, was host preacher to the Convention. He was also Convention 
preacher of Session in 1909. He was later a trustee of Wake Forest College and 
also trustee of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

In 1922, Rev. Watkins accepted a call to Grace Baptist Church of Durham, 
North Carolina. He continued at this post until his retirement. The Biblical 
Recorder announced his death on November 9, 1932, at the age of sixty-eight. 

Rev. and Mrs. Watkins had five children as follows; 

Dr. George T. Watkins, Jr. 

Basil M. Watkins, Attorney of Durham, N.C. 

Louise T. Watkins, teacher of mathematics in high school, Durham, N.C. 

Inez C. Watkins, teacher of English in Durham High School 

Dr. William M. Watkins of Durham, N.C. 

Charity Watkins, a faithful household servant of the family, was the only 
Negro member of the First Baptist Church during the years Rev. Watkins was 
pastor. Earlier Negro members of the church had pulled out in 1867 and founded 
their own church. 

George Thomas Watkins 


The church did not own a parsonage from 1910 to 1925, the parsonage site be- 
being used for the new church. Rev. Watkins lived for a number of years at 307 
S. John Street and then in the old Steve Isler home on E. Walnut Street 

Charles S. Norwood, 1971 

This 1912 picture shows the Board of Deacons of First Baptist Church. First row, left to 
right: Chairman J.E. Peterson, Pastor George T. Watkins, W.G. Britt. Second row: John 
Whitley, E.L, Edmundson, Robert Pipkin, H.L. Graham, H.B. Parker, J. D. Rivenbark. 

This was the pastor and his Deacons who planned and built the second 
church in 1912, the present church, more than twice the size of the first small 
frame building. 

On Saturday evening, October 8, 1932, Dr. George T. Watkins was translated 
from that which was mortal to that which is immortal. To him this was but 
another triumph of glory. In a long and continued victorious life his long and in- 
timate journey with Jesus was simply culminated upon his reaching home. 

Therefore, we, the Baptist Ministers' Association of Durham, North Carolina, 
gathered at the First Baptist Church, of Durham, October 24, 1932, express our 
gratitude to God for the life and fellowship of our departed co-worker. He was a 
comrade of the Cross, a Christian companion of cultured qualities rarely found 
among us. His counsel was clear and conscientious upon all matters pertaining to 
the things of the Kingdom of God. Indeed, we have lost a true yokefellow, but 
heaven has crowned a victor from many a battlefield of renown and glory. 




1882 - 1967 
28th Pastor: 1922 - 1925 

Born August 20, 1882 near Mooresboro, N.C., he was a son of Mr. and Mrs. 
S.F. Wall. He was educated in the Rutherford County schools and also attended 
a private school operated by A.B. Flack. 
Furthering his education, he went to Mars 
Hill College and was graduated from 
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 
Louisville, Ky. 

Upon completion of his education in 
Rutherford County, he set out on a busi- 
ness career with a textile firm in Cliffside 
and while there received and accepted an 
invitation to speak in the nearby Mount 
Pleasant Baptist Church, an experience 
which confirmed in his heart his call to 

His pastorates included Marshall, N.C.; 
Mount Olive, Miss.; First Baptist Church, 
Columbia, Miss.; Mississippi Baptist Col- 
lege from which he entered the Military 
Chaplaincy in 1916; First Baptist Church, 
Goldsboro, N.C.; First Baptist Church, 
Shelby, N.C.; and later in his golden years, 
Elizabeth Baptist Church near Shelby. 

In 1948, already serving as president 
of the board of trustees of the North Carolina Baptist Children's homes, he was 
invited to become general superintendent, serving in this capacity until 1950. 

When he reached retirement age, he returned to Shelby 'but shortly thereafter 
received a plea to become pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church, holding this 
pastorate for five years and again showing his strength in the ministry. 

Many honors came to him during his fruitful ministry. He was president of 
the North Carolina Baptist State Convention for four terms- 1933-1936 and his 
name appeared in 'Who's Who In America" in the 1948-49 edition. He authored 
three "books of merit" which were published by the Broadman Press of the Sun- 
day School Board, Nashville, Tenn., and which have had wide circulation. They 
are: "Heartening Messages"; "Verities of the Gospel" and "A Day for God-Called 

In his ministry which covered fifty-six years, Dr. Wall preached in hundreds 
of churches in Mississippi, Lousiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, 
South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Virginia, and 
Washington, D.C. 

He served as president of Gardner- Webb College (then Boiling Springs Junior 
College) for two years, without pay, during the trying times of the depression 
while he was pastoring First Baptist Church, Shelby. 

Dr. Zeno Wall 


Elected Pastor Emeritus on September 16, 1951, he continued in that post un- 
til his death. 

Dr. Wall married Ada Katherine Ramsey who died March 11, 1959 and to 
them five children were born: Zeno, Jr., Abbie Jane (Mrs. Ollie Harris of Kings 
Mountain, Yates, Woodrow and Ada Ramsey (Mrs. Walter Fanning of 
Ridgewood, N.J.) 

Dr. Wall died September 12, 1967 and was buried beside his wife in 
Elizabeth Baptist Church cemetery. 

Source: Woodrow Wall, Minister of Music and Education 
First Baptist Church, Newnan, Georgia 


1869 - 1938 
29th Pastor: 1925 - 1926 

This godly man was born in Jonesboro, Moore County, North Carolina, April 
10, 1869. He was the third of twelve children. He was reared in a pure and 
happy home, and inherited from his pious 
parents a love of purity and uprightness. 

Education: Studied in Jonesboro and 
Carthage High Schools, Wake Forest Col- 
lege, and the Southern Baptist Theological 

Family: Married Miss Blanche Liles, of 
Jonesboro. To them have been born three 
boys and four girls. His wife attended lec- 
tures with him in the Seminary, and she is 
a tower of strength to him in his ministerial 

Religion: He was converted at the age 
of eleven and baptized into the fellowship ^ 

of the Jonesboro Baptist Church of the San- 
dy Creek Association, of which he was 
afterwards Clerk. 

Life Work: He was licensed to preach 
and called to the pastorate of his home 
church, where he began his ministry in 

August, 1890. He preached his first sermon Rev Charles Vance Brooks 

in Juniper Springs Church, near his father's Courtesy Bap,,st Hlstoncal Collectlon 

home, from Luke 9:23. For several years he taught school and served country 

In 1906 he became pastor of Tarboro Church in the Tar River Association, 
where he remained two years, in 1918 he accepted a call to Red Springs, and 
moved to that town. He began his ministry there with 2 Cor. 5: 14 as his first text 
and 1 Cor. 2:2 as his policy. There was some serious difficulties in the church 
which have been overcome, the discipline is positive and the fellowship 
delightful. Consideration for the pastor is one of the marked characteristics of 
this church. 

Brother Brooks is diligently engaged in the Master's business, and at the same 
time looking and praying for the coming of the King. 
Source: Taylors Tar River History 



1889 - 1950 

30th Pastor: 1926 - 1950 

Rev. Alfred James Smith was born May 21, 1889, in Kansas City, Missouri, 
the son of Henry and Elizabeth Lloyd Smith. Henry Smith was a native of Hamp- 
shire, England, while Elizabeth Lloyd was 
born in Xenia, Ohio. 

Alfred Smith was educated in Kansas 
City schools and at William Jewel College, 
Liberty, Missouri, where he played varsity 
football. He worked with the Juvenile 
Court of Kansas City and for a while was 
Assistant Superintendent of Boys Hotel, an 
attempt of the County to salvage delin- 
quent boys from the streets of Kansas City. 
He was a graduate of Northern Baptist 
Seminary in Kansas City. The Seminary 
later moved to Denver, Colorado. 

Rev. Smith was first pastor at Hig- 
ginsville, Missouri, for eight years, then for 
four and a half years he was pastor of a 
Baptist church in Franklin, North Carolina. 
He was called to the First Baptist Church of 
Goldsboro in May, 1926. 

He was married to MaBelle Shafer on 
December 25, 1913. She was the daughter 
of Luther J. Shafer and Anne Anthony 
Shafer. She was born in Buckner, Missouri. Their family consisted of three girls: 
Elizabeth, Helen and Mary Jane, all born in Higginsville, Missouri. 

In coming to Goldsboro, Rev. Smith followed the ministry of Dr. Zeno Wall, 
who had served the church from June, 1922 to October 1925. Rev. Smith was 
given an enthusiastic reception. Many changes and developments were to take 
place during his twenty-four years of service. Our first written "Plan of Work" 
was adopted. A great city-wide religious census was taken. Mr. Smith was re- 
sponsible for the church adopting for the first time the Unified Budget System. 
Our first Sunday School enlargement campaign was held shortly after Mr. 
Smith's arrival, and the Sunday School reached a new height in number and en- 
thusiasm. Many plans and ideas were examined for providing more room for the 
ever increasing enrollment. Mr. Smith is credited with the idea of purchasing the 
present Education Building which was at that time an office building. Today, 
after extensive renovations, it is the very fine Education Building of the First 
Baptist Church and named the Alfred J. Smith Education Building in his honor. 

Mr. Smith was very interested in music. He introduced the first professional 
music director in our church. He became active in community choral organiza- 
tions and then state-wide musical programs for trained song leaders. He served 
as vice president in the State organization. This led to his becoming president of 
our local Community Concert Association, a position he held for many years. 

Reverend Alfred James Smith 


Mr. Smith claimed friends from all walks of life and all races and ages. He 
spent many hours at homes and hospitals with the sick and desolate, both within 
and without his church. He was really a friend of mankind. In a free open poll 
conducted by the Goldsboro News- Argus, he was voted the number one citizen 
of Goldsboro. His concern for hungry school children during the depression 
opened up the Church Kitchen, which was later tabbed the Soup Kitchen. 
Military men learned to love him during their brief stay at Seymour Johnson 
Base. His counsel and prayers were sought by many of the young men in uniform 
who felt that they were alone and ignored. 

Mr. Smith loved the out of doors, especially the seacoast, where he main- 
tained a home for quiet recreation. He loved to provide all his needs from catch- 
ing the fish and other seafood, to the elaborate cooking and serving a tasty meal, 
which he was quite capable of doing. He enjoyed the people of the seacoast and 
countryside and would listen to their tall tales and then do them one better by 
relating one of his own stories. 

Twenty-one years have passed since his death, but he is unforgettable in the 
minds and hearts of many people. 

Charles S. Norwood 

On May 6, 1950, the News-Argus paid editorial tribute to Mr. Smith, on the 
occasion of his 24th year in Goldsboro. 

Those remarks are here repeated: 

The first Sunday in May, 1926 a young man preached his first sermon as 
pastor of the First Baptist Church in Goldsboro. 

He was Rev. A.J. Smith. With his wife and three daughters, he had arrived a 
few days previously from the mountain town of Franklin. 

On Sunday, Rev. A.J. Smith will pass his 24th anniversary as pastor of the 

To Al Smith Sunday will be just another day of serving his church and his 
people. But to the members of the church and to hundreds in the community it 
will be a day of deep significance. 

Mr. Smith has given broad, deep and devoted service to his own church peo- 
ple and to the community. He is a man of breadth, depth and tolerance. Inside 
and outside his church he has touched thousands of people and always for the 

The Baptist pastor is a buoyant and laughing spirit. To have converse with 
him is to feel a new courage and a new faith that God is in his heaven and all is 
right with the world. In his comforting of the sick, cheering the bereaved, lend- 
ing a helping and strengthening hand to the weak and distressed, Mr. Smith truly 
has shown others the untouchable treasure of power that belongs to the man of 

And he has none of the smugness, none of the pontificating, holier than-thou 
attitude that sometimes digs a ditch between the cloth and the man of the street. 

We join with hundreds in wishing Mr. Smith and his family all good wishes 
upon their 24th anniversary in Goldsboro. 


Alfred J. Smith, Pastor, 1940 

Financial Secretary Mrs. Ruby D. Little 

Sunday School Superintendent Mr. M. A. Shaver 

B.T.U. Director Mrs. A.R. Mallard 

W.M.U. President Mrs. J. Andrew Smith 

Treasurer Mrs. J. Andrew Smith 

Budget Secretary Mr. H.L. Graham 

Clerk Mrs. E.C. Futrelle 

Chairman of the Building Fund Mr. R.M. Purser 

Chairman of the Building Fund Club Mr. Edgar H. Bain 

Organist Mrs. Scott B. Berkeley 

R.M. Purser, Chairman G.A. Norwood Jesse Hinson 

H.L. Graham B.F. Carr H.G. Maxwell, Sr. 

Charles S. Norwood J.R. Crawford, Sr. Guion Lee 

Charles Norwood H.B. Parker 

H.V. Modlin G.A. Norwood 

S.O. Montague Jesse Hinson J.F. Mclnnis 

H.V. Modlin Eugene Roberts Carroll Bryan (Chairman) 

Wayne F. Smith A.V. Washburn R.M. Purser 

G.W. Waters, Sr. W.M. Smith (Life Dea.) D.H. Bland 

D.L.Cuthrell D.D. Montague Chas. Norwood 

Edgar H. Bain B.F. Carr J.A. Sherard 

W.M. Smith Francis Stanley H.B. Parker (Life Dea.) 

Julian T. Gaskill 

President Mrs. J. Andrew Smith Recording Secretary Mrs. A.A. Loftin 

Vice-President Mrs. W. Edward Brown Mission Treasurer Mrs. A.V. Washburn 

Sec. Vice-President Mrs. John R. Crawford Publicity Mrs. Henry Belk 

Third Vice-President Mrs. S.D. Poole Personal Service Mrs. W.C. Suggs 


Circle No. 1 Mrs. George Steele Circle No. 6 Mrs. Ed Herring 

Circle No. 2 Mrs. J.A. Sherard Circle No. 7 Mrs. Paul Edmundson 

Circle No. 3 Mrs. Luther Denning Circle No. 8 Mrs. Henry Brown 

Circle No. 4 Mrs. A.K. Robertson Circle No. 9 Mrs. W.R. Crow 

Circle No. 5 Mrs. Loren Pate Circle No. 10 Mrs. A.J. Smith 

Sunbeam Leader Mrs. George Casteen Junior G.A. Leader Mrs. R.B. Harper 

Assistant Mrs. J.H. Askins Intermediate G.A. Leaders 

Royal Ambassadors Mrs. Doren James Mrs. Frank Seymour, Mrs. J.M. Byrd 

Assistant Mrs. George Ham Y.W.A. Counselor Miss Ruby Barrett 


1911 - 1969 

31st Pastor: January, 1951 -June, 1969 

Gilmer Henry Cross was born May 10, 1911 in Lexington, North Carolina, 
the son of Thomas Stokes and Mary Elizabeth Feezor Cross. Following his educa- 
tion in Lexington, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest Col- 
lege and his Master of Theology degree from Southern Baptist Theological 
Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. 


Rev. Gilmer H. Cross 

Nurtured in a Christian home, he ac- 
cepted Christ when he was nine years old. 
His decision to become a Gospel minister 
came while he was in college. He had felt 
this call while he was in the fifth grade, but 
his interest in athletics and a career in law 
had pushed it to the background. While 
home on summer vacation after his sopho- 
more year, the struggle grew until ten days 
before he was to return to campus to begin 
football practice he realized the decision 
must be made. On his knees he prayed for 
an unmistakable sign: if God wanted him 
to go into the Ministry, let him be asked to 
preach at his home church before the ten 
days expired. And before the time was up, 
his pastor, who knew nothing of what had 
transpired, called to ask him to preach. 
The decision was made. His home church, 
First Baptist Church of Lexington, N.C., 
licensed him to preach when he was twen- 
ty years old and ordained him at the age of twenty-two. 

He served four churches in two states during his ministry. Finishing the 
Seminary in 1936, he became the first full-time pastor of First Baptist Church of 
Scarbro, West Virginia. He served as pastor of Beck's Baptist Church of Winston- 
Salem, N.C. from 1938 until 1943, when he returned to West Virginia to become 
pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church. On January 1, 1951, he began his ministry as 
pastor of First Baptist Church of Goldsboro, N.C, which continued until his 
death on June 16, 1969. Steady progress in spiritual growth, financial steward- 
ship, and physical improvement marked each of these pastorates. 

Many opportunities for service came to him. During his years in West 
Virginia he was a member of the Pastors' Advisory Committee on Publications of 
the American Baptist Convention and a member of the Board of Managers of the 
Home Mission Board of the American Baptist Convention; was president of the 
State Ministers' Council, a member of the Executive Board of the West Virginia 
Baptist Convention, and served as president of the West Virginia Baptist Conven- 
tion. In North Carolina he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Campbell 
College for one term of four years and was serving his second term on the Board 
of Trustees of Wake Forest University at the time of his death. He served as a 
member of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for two terms 
and had been a member of the Committee on Boards of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention. He was a member of the first Committee on Orientation of Trustees of 
North Carolina Baptist Institutions and Agencies, served as chairman one year, 
and was a member for a second time at the time of his death. While a member of 
the General Board of the North Carolina Baptist Convention, he was on the State 
Budget Committee and the Fruitland Bible Institute Committee and was chair- 
man of the State Missions Committee. In January, 1967, he was elected president 
of the General Board and chairman of the Board's Executive Committee, serving 
two years. 


In 1969 he was invited by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist 
Convention and the Philippine Baptist Convention to be a member of the 
Evangelistic Crusade Team. With the cooperation of the First Baptist Church of 
Goldsboro, he accepted the invitation and participated in the Crusade, preaching 
for four weeks in the Philippines. On his way home he visited mission fields in 
Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. After this experience, he said that one could 
never be the same. 

Dear to his heart were his family and home. He and his wife, Bernice, had 
one daughter (Elizabeth Ann), Mrs. Charles Hellard of Salisbury, North Carolina. 
The two grandchildren brought him much joy. So in keeping with his deep con- 
cern and interest for young people, for missions and missionary development, 
and his love for his own family, he had taken his daughter to North Carolina Bap- 
tist Assembly at Southport, where she was to be on the faculty for World Mis- 
sions Week. It was there where he led conferences and spoken many times that 
death came suddenly. 

His deep interest in athletics and law which had been present in his early life 
continued. He was a familiar sight in the courtroom and in the stadium or 
wherever an athletic event was taking place. But the passion of his life was peo- 
ple and especially lost people, and his aim in life to glorify God. In his own words 
he was "a man saved by the grace of God, trying to live a Christian life, the in- 
fluence of which will cause many to accept Christ as Saviour." 

Bernice Cross 
January, 1971 

Left to right: Mrs. W.S. Gibson; R.A. Bryan, Sr.; B.G. Stowe; D.N. Alexander; Charles Nor- 
wood, Chairman; Mr. Cross, Pastor; George Bain, General Chairman, Forward Program; Dr. 
Ralph Bland; Mrs. Julian Gaskill; Mrs. Cecil Best. 




32nd Pastor: November 1969 - Present 1987 

E. Leon Smith, was born January 13, 1940 in Williamston, South Carolina, 
the youngest of five children of Mr. and Mrs. C.R. Smith, Sr. Married to the 
former Martha G. Teague (B Music degree 
from University of Louisville, Ky.) of High 
Point, N.C. They have two children: 
Allison, born December 19, 1962; and Lee, 
born October 3, 1966. Smith graduated 
from Palmetto High School, Williamston, 
South Carolina, in 1957. He received the 
A. A. degree from Anderson Junior College 
in 1959 and the B.A. degree from Furman 
University in 1961. He entered the 
Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake 
Forest and earned the degrees of Bachelor 
of Divinity in 1965, Master of Theology in 
1968, and Doctor of Ministry in 1973. He 
received Clinical Pastor Education at N.C. 
Baptist Hospital and Continuing Theologi- 
cal Education from Furman University. 
Smith was ordained September 9, 1962 by 
the First Baptist Church, Belton, South 
Carolina. His church experience includes: 
Youth Director, First Baptist Church, 
Langley, South Carolina (summer, 1961); 
Pastor, Bonlee Baptist Church, Bonlee, North Carolina (1962-1965); Associate 
Pastor and Acting Minister, First Baptist Church, Lenoir, North Carolina 
(1965-1967); Associate Pastor, Green Street Baptist Church, High Point, North 
Carolina (1968-1969); Pastor, First Baptist Church, Goldsboro, North Carolina 
(Nov. 1969 - present). Smith led his congregation in establishing a partnership 
with the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Headley, England, after taking part in the 
European Baptist Convention in 1984. He is a founder of United Church 
Ministries of Wayne County. In November 1987, Smith captured the office of 
President of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention in Greensboro by the 
largest margin ever recorded as moderates swept into the state convention's top 
three offices. He won 62.3% of the vote. 

Dr. Smith has been very active in civic and community affairs. He is a 
member of the Rotary Club; Chairman of Goldsboro Protestant Kindergarten 
Program; Board member of Wayne County Mental Health; Boys' Club; Sheltered 
Workshop; Goldsboro Public Schools; and Chaplain of North Carolina Associa- 
tion of Rescue Squads. 

In the denomination, prior to his election in 1987 to the Presidency of the 
North Carolina Baptist Convention, he was member of the General Board for five 
years and first Vice President for the years 1985-1986, member of the Executive 
Committee, Christian Life and Public Affairs, Bylaws, and President of Pastors 

Dr. E. Leon Smith 


Conference Neuse Baptist Association. He was a leader in all committees and ac- 
tivities of the State Convention, fully qualifying him to lead North Carolina Bap- 
tist as President, the only position he has not held. 

Dr. Smith will be remembered as the pastor who led in our expansion pro- 
gram of 1979-1983. More than one million dollars was invested in new land and 
buildings that doubled the size of our church plant in land and buildings and cost 
of operations. Our annual budget has also been doubled and there is no mortgage 
after our drive of "Debt No More in '84". 

Source: Church Records 


Mrs. L. Woodrow Kemp (Ruth) 

Financial Secretary 


Gordon Flesher 

Minister of Music 


Mrs. Kenneth Barbour (Helen) 
Director, Day Care 

Mrs. Carlyle Eure (Adell) 
Church Hostess 



Outstanding Church Officers and Leaders Listed in Church Minutes 

Honorable William Turner Faircloth b. 1829 

Governor Curtis Hooks Brogden b. 1816 

J.M. Hollowell b. 1840 

Major Hiram L. Grant b. 1843 

Captain J.E. Peterson b. 1848 

Governor Charles Brantly Aycock b. 1859 

Dr.J.YJoyner b. 1862 

Hersey B. Parker b. 1870 

B.G. Stowe b. 1892 

Maynard A. Shaver b. 1900 

Raymond A. Bryan b. 1900 



Hon. William Turner Faircloth, b. 

1829 in Edgecombe County. Entered Wake 
Forest Law School in 1850. Completed the 
course in 1854. In 1856 located in 
Goldsboro at the time we were building 
our first church on John Street. He was an 
outstanding student at Wake Forest and 
had immediate success as a lawyer, 
Legislator and churchman. He was ap- 
pointed to the Supreme Court in 1875 but 
he continued his residence in Goldsboro 
and the Missionary Baptist Church. He 
was in 1891 a Trustee of U.N.C., Wake 
Forest College, Baptist Female University 
(Meredith), and the Baptist Orphanage at 
Thomasville. He was identified with many 
important enterprises of the State, a director of the W & W Railroad, Goldsboro 
Furniture Co., Hotel Gregory, Bank of Wayne. He owned a large share of 
Goldsboro real estate. He was a benefactor of all Baptist institutions. The first of- 
fice that he built on Walnut Street is now restored and has been moved to 207 E. 
Spruce Street on the County parking lot. Faircloth returned to the Supreme Court 
as Chief Justice in 1890 where he remained until his death in December 1900. 


Hon. William Turner Faircloth 

Governor Curtis Hooks Brogden, b. 

1816-1901. First N.C. Governor from 
Wayne County. He was born in southern 
Wayne and became the youngest member 
at age 22 to be elected to the House in 
1838. He was re-elected for 10 consecutive 
terms. Although a licensed lawyer, he 
never practiced, he had launched a suc- 
cessful political career that lasted for 50 
years (1838-1888), in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, State Senate, State Comptroller, 
State Senate, Lt. Gov., Governor, U.S. Con- 
gress and again in the House of Represen- 
tatives. He never married. He was a 
lifetime member of First Baptist, better 
known in those days as the Missionary 
Baptist Church. 

Gov. Curtis Hooks Brogden 


J.M. Hollowell was born Mar. 8, 1840 
in old Everittsville, four miles south of 
Goldsboro. He died June 18, 1912 at his 
home on East Holly Street in Goldsboro. 
He was 72 years old. A devout Christian, 
he was for 30 years clerk of the First Bap- 
tist Church, trustee, teacher and deacon. 
He filled many offices of trust in the com- 
munity - agent for Richmond and Danville 
R.R., also the Southern Railway - cashier of 
National Bank of Goldsboro - State Legis- 
lature 1903-1907 - Board of Alderman 
-Assistant Register of Deeds - Clerk of City 
of Goldsboro - Historian and member of 
Goldsboro rifles that defended Fort Macon 
and recorded and published the seige and 
fall of the fort in 1861. He was with Gen. 
Bragg in Goldsboro in the closing days of 
the War and witnessed Scholfield's men 
marching into town March 19, 1865. 

J.M. Hollowell 

Maj. Hiram Lewis Grant, 1843 1922. 

He was born in Woonsocket, R.I. He was 
first in Goldsboro in 1866 as the third and 
last Provost Marshal. He fought at Fort 
Fisher and was made Provost Marshal of 
Wilmington at the close of the War. In 
1866 he was transferred to Goldsboro. He 
ruled the town. He liked the people and 
the people liked him. After martial law 
was lifted in 1868, he left to return to Con- 
necticut to fetch a wife. He returned in 
1869 with his bride, Elizabeth (Lizzie), E. 
Green, b. 1844-1913. H.L. Grant was ap- 
pointed Postmaster on his return. He and 
his wife joined our church and became life 
members, involved in every phase of 
church activity. He built the first Sunday 
School addition to the church so his wife 
would have a better place to teach. He was 
at the same time Superintendent of the 
Sunday School. When our new brick 
church was built, Major Grant purchased 
the old church and gave it away so he 
could build an office building that is today 
our Education Building. 

In 1874 Major Grant purchased the abandoned lots at Old Waynesborough 
and established his brick manufacturing plant on the clay hills of the Neuse 

Major H.L. Grant and his wife, Lizzie G. 
Grant, Ruth Wilkins and Evelyn Wil- 
kins, his granddaughters. 


River. All of the Grants were active in the church. Three daughters were 
teachers. Their only son, John Hiram, was ordained a minister by our church in 
1894. Major Grant was a liberal benefactor as his many generous deeds testify. A 
memorial window to the family keeps us mindful of their long dedicated service. 

Joseph Eppy Peterson, b. Oct. 27, 

1848, d. November 24, 1917, was the son 

of Eppy Peterson, an esteemed farmer of 

Duplin County and Ann Gregory Sintas, V 

daughter of Honorable Joseph Anthony 

Sintas, Spanish consul to the U.S. stationed - IIL^ 

at Wilmington, N.C. He married Mary i? 

Catherine (Kate) Parker, January 1, 1872. m> 

There were five children: Walter Parker ft 

Peterson (m. Ida Glover); Laura (Mrs. 

Hight C. Moore); Irene (Mrs. W.J. 

Mathews); Henry; and Joseph. 

J.E. Peterson, was elected Mayor of 
Goldsboro on May 4, 1887 and served until I 
1891. In 1898 he was elected Mayor again W 
and served until 1901. During his terms in 
office a sewage system was installed in 
Goldsboro; drinking fountains and water 
troughs for horses were installed on prom- 
inent corners downtown and in Webb- 
town; the first fire equipment and fire 

engine steam pumper, the Mary Alice, Joseph E. Peterson 

were purchased; a pest house was opened for small pox patients near the Neuse 
River in March 1899; a city water plant and electric light plant were proposed for 
the city. 

For more than thirty years, J.E. Peterson was a magistrate and he served as 
U.S. Commissioner for the Eastern District of N.C. during his last years. 

Capt. Peterson was a Deacon of the First Baptist Church for forty-five years 
and was chairman when the church was built in 1912. Capt. Peterson operated a 
dry goods store on East Walnut Street for many years. His home was at 313 South 
William Street. by Catherine Ham 

Goldsboro, N.C. 1912 

Brother Peterson is the Chairman of the Committee on Hospitality at the Con- 
vention meeting in Goldsboro, December 3.-6. This is the third time he has been 
the host of the Convention, having served in this capacity at the sessions of 1880 
and 1891. He is the senior deacon of the First Baptist Church, his term of con- 
tinuous service dating back into 1872 - forty years ago. Prominent and influen- 
tial in the business and political life of his city, having among other honors 
served several terms as Mayor, he finds his greatest privilege and highest joy in 
the interests of the church and denomination to which he belongs, and in the ex- 
tension of the Kingdom of our Lord unto the uttermost parts of the earth. 

Excerpt from Biblical Recorder 


Governor Charles B. Aycock, b. 

1859-1912. He was the second Wayne 
County native and member of our church 
to become Governor of our State. Born in 
1859 on a farm near Fremont, he entered 
U.N.C. in 1877 and was licensed a lawyer 
in 1881 and began practicing with Judge 
Daniels in Goldsboro. A most eloquent 
speaker, he soon became the foremost 
orator in North Carolina, his subject being 
education, became his battle cry when he 
was ready to run for Governor. He was 
elected by the largest majority ever. He 
and his wife, Cora Woodard, lived at 408 S. 
William before and after he was Governor. 
As a member of our Missionary Baptist 
Church, he influenced many people that 
the church stood for helping people 
through education. He was acclaimed our 
Education Governor throughout the South. 
While making an address on education in 
Birmingham, Ala. he suffered a stroke and 
died April 4, 1912. 

Governor Charles Brantley Aycock 

Dr. J.Y. Joyner, born in 1862, was a 
student at Wake Forest and U.N.C. where 
he graduated in 1881 at age 19, the young- 
est member of his class. He taught school 
in LaGrange for three years and studied 
law, being admitted to the bar in 1886. He 
began practice of law in Goldsboro, his 
partners being Chief Justice of Supreme 
Court Faircloth and Superior Court Justice 
William R. Allen. He was a professor and 
Dean of N.C. State College for Women. In 
1902, Governor Aycock appointed him 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction 
which he held for 17 years. Aycock and 
Joyner of Goldsboro and the Missionary 
Baptist Church made a name for public 
education in North Carolina. Dr. Joyner 
was married to Sallie A. Wooten of 
LaGrange where he spent his last years of 
retirement. He was superintendent of our 
Sunday School in 1888 while associated 
with Judge Faircloth. 

Dr. J.Y. Joyner 


Hersey B. Parker, Att., b. 1870 Hert- 
ford County, N.C. Died in Goldsboro in 
1941. A leader in the church for 50 years, 
1892-1941, a teacher, deacon, Superinten- 
dent of Sunday School for 15 years, his- 
torian, and Secretary of Building Commit- 
tee that built the present church in 
1911-1913. Mr. Parker kept all of the 
records, bills and accounts including the 
list of non-church members who made 
contributions. He saved Biblical recorders 
of November - December 1912 when the 
State Convention met in our church before 
it was complete. His records, pictures of 
many past years is the main source for this 
updated history of the church. 


Hersey B. Parker 


Belvy Greene Stowe, better known 
as Mr. B.G., arrived in Goldsboro and First 
Baptist in the spring of 1941 to assume the 
duties of District Engineer for Southern , 

Cotton Oil Co. he was born in 1892 in 
Stathem, Ga. He married Ms. Jamis Pipkin 
of McCall, S.C., May 15, 1919. 

First Baptist Church of Goldsboro had \ 

had many outstanding and loyal members 
who have a long record of service to their 
church, but during the past fifty years I 
know no other one who has been so active 
and devoted as B.G. Stowe. From the day 
he joined our church, it has been "What 
can I do?" There was plenty to do and B.G. 
Stowe did it all except preach. Before he 
was in our midst six months, our town was 
overrun with Air Force men and we find 
B.G. in the church with our preacher, A.J. ^ 

Smith, and Roy J. Parker preparing and 
serving Sunday morning breakfast to the 
military men, all comers. B.G. was chosen 
deacon early. He served for many years and was chairman in 1949 and again in 
1952. His first assignment was that of General Secretary of the Sunday School. In 
1950 he was our Budget Secretary and did the financial bookkeeping from his 
home at night. He was also chairman of the ushers at the same time. He became 
Church Treasurer in 1957 and continued in that position for fifteen years. He 
acted as property and maintenance manager for twenty years, a job no one 
wanted. He served under Rev. A.J. Smith, Gilmer Cross and E. Leon Smith. B.G. 
spent his last days in Guardian Care. He died June 7, 1978 and was buried in 
Evergreen Cemetery, Goldsboro, N.C. He served as a First Lieutenant during 
World War I and was wounded at the Battle of Chateau Theirry. 

B. G. Stowe 





Life Deacon 

B.G. Stowe, Chairman 
Alexander, D.N. 
Branch, L.O. 
Brown, Ed 
Bryan, Robert 
Bryan, Carroll 
Carroll, Howard 
Denmark, Ed 

Church Clerk 

Church Treasurer 

Duke, Bruce 
Futrelle, Earl 
Gaskill, J.T. 
Hinson, Jesse 
Jenkins, Tom 
Johnson, CM. 
Montague, D.D. 

B.B. Montague, Chm. D.N. Alexander D.H. Bland 

Raymond Bryan Roy M. Purser 

John R. Crawford 

Ed Denmark, Vice Chairman 
Norwood, Charles 
Parker, Roy J. 
Purser, Roy M. 
Seymour, G.F. 
Snypes, Thomas 
Stowe, B.G. 
Washburn, A.V. 

Mrs. A.V. Washburn 

Mrs. J. Andrew Smith 

Charles Norwood, Chm. 

Roy J. Parker, Chairman 

D.N. Alexander 

John Brendle 

Carroll Bryan 

Bruce Duke 

Tom Jenkins, Jr. 

Roy M. Purser 


J.H. Manly 
Louis Marriner 
B.B. Montague 
H.F. Morgan 
Roy J. Parker, Jr. 

Henry V. Modlin 

B.G. Stowe, Vice Chm. 
Roy M. Purser 
R.N. Rouse 
M.A. Shaver 
A.F. Scott 
Wayne Smith 

Maynard A. Shaver was born Jan. 
30, 1900 and died June 23, 1986. A veteran 
of World War I, he was an underwriter of 
Mutual of New York for 50 years. He was a 
founder and charter member of Adams- 
ville Baptist Church where he served in 
every capacity. He served two terms as 
moderator of the Baptist Neuse Association 
and two terms on the board of the Baptist 
State Convention. He was a former 
member of First Baptist Church where he 
served as superintendent of the Sunday 
School Department for 20 years, church 
clerk and deacon. He helped start Brook- 
side Mission which was a mission of First 
Baptist Church. He was a trustee of the 
Christian Action League and a life member 
of the Salvation Army Advisory Board. 

He was one of the early members of the 
Goldsboro Civitan Club, serving as a past 

Maynard A. Shaver 


lieutenant governor and past president of the club. He served as president of the 
Wayne County Life Underwriters Association, former vice chairman of the 
Cancer Fund drive for Goldsboro, and former secretary of the Citizens Savings 
and Loan Association. 

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Helen P. Shaver; one son, Dr. Thomas E. 
Shaver of Mount Olive; three daughters, Mrs. Hazel Hoogenboom of Arcadia, 
CA; Mrs. Ruth Columbus of Columbia, S.C., Mrs. Rebecca S. Johnson of Hope 
Mills; one sister, Mrs. Lillie Williams of Drexel; 15 grandchildren; 22 greatgrand- 

Raymond A. Bryan, born in Newton 
Grove in 1900, moved to Goldsboro in 
1926 to work with W.P. Rose, Contracting- 
Architectural firm. Married Miss Ruby 
Morris in 1929. Their only child is son Ray 
Bryan, Jr. All of the family are faithful sup- 
porters of First Baptist Church from the 
mid-twenties to date. 

About 1930 Raymond joined a friend, 
T.A. Loving, to form a contracting firm of 
T.A. Loving Company that grew rapidly 
and created great confidence in their abili- 
ty as builders. T.A. Loving died shortly and 
Raymond assumed full responsibility for 
the expanding company. His whole family 
and in-laws were involved in church ac- 
tivities that made it easy for Raymond to 
take a leading role in the church's affairs, 
particularly in the area of finance. His 
modest and generous contributions to all 

church endeavors and enlargements made every goal a success. His company 
made all major improvements to the church properties from 1940, 1959-60, and 
the last major million dollar expansion program in 1979-82. He lived to see the 
last big debt paid in full, about the time of his death in September 1983. His love 
and devotion to his church testifies him as our greatest benefactor of recent 
years. His son, Ray Bryan, Jr., continues his church interest and involvement as 
Deacon, Chairman of Finance Committee and Usher. 

Raymond A. Bryan 



1843 Charles J. Nelson, Founder 

1856 J.J. Baker, Deacon, 1st Bldg. Comm. 

1859 Rev. John T. Albritton, teacher, 1st to be ordained by our 

1862-1912 J.M. Hollowell, Clerk (30 years), Trustee. 

1863-1868 Peter & William Bogart, Supt. of Sunday School. 

1864 A.H. Keaton, Deacon. 

1870 J.J. Robinson, Supt. Treas., Deacon, Teacher. 

1872 H.L. Grant, Deacon, Supt. Sunday School. 

1869 Mrs. Lizzie Grant, Sunday School Teacher, 25 yrs., Pres. W.M.U. 

1888-1890 Mrs. William Robinson, President W.M.U. 

1894 J. Hiram Grant, son - Ordained by Church 1894. 

1880 Charles B. Aycock, Gov., Trustee. 

1888 Curtis Brogden, Governor. 

1888 Dr. J.Y. Joyner, Supt. of Sunday School. 

1888 W.T. Faircloth, Chief Justice, N.C. State. 

1886 Mrs. A.S. Turner, W.M.U. 

1872-1912 J.E. Peterson, Life Deacon, Teacher, Treas., Sunday School 

1913 Mrs. J.E. Peterson, President W.M.U. 

1891 John R. Crawford, Life Deacon, Trustee, Benefactor. 
1891-1893 Mrs. Ellen Edwards, President W.M.U. 

1893 D.J. Riverbark, Deacon, Supt. Sunday School, Custodian. 

1897 W.G. Britt, Treas., Deacon, Finance Comm. 

1898 F.R. Hall, Sunday School Supt. 

1897-1899 W.J. Mathews, Sunday School Supt., Deacon, Builder of Present 

1899 Mrs. Frank B. Edmondson, President W.M.U. 
1900-1905 H.B. Parker, Atty., Sunday School Supt., Deacon, Teacher, 


1909 Frank B. Edmondson, Deacon. 

1900 E.L. Edmondson, Deacon, Sunday School Supt., Benefactor. 
1916-1922 Mrs. E.L. Edmondson, President W.M.U. 

1901 G.A. Norwood, Finance Comm., Trustee, Delegate. 
1925-1928 Mrs. G.A. Norwood, President W.M.U. 

1894 Carter H. Jenkens, Ordained, Son of C.A. Jenkens, Pastor. 
1909 W.E. Stroud, Church Clerk, Sunday School Supt., Choir. 
1897 Mrs. R.E. Pipkin, President W.M.U. 

1912 R.E. Pipkin, Deacon. 

1914 Mrs. C.E. Wilkins, Minnie Grant, President W.M.U. 
1914 Mrs. W.M. Petway, Pres. of W.M.U., organized Royal 

1914 Mrs. Paul Yelverton (Annie Pipkin), President W.M.U. 
1914 E.W. Norwood, 1st member of Royal Ambassadors, later 1925 

became missionary to China. 
1905 J.D. Whitley, Deacon, Sunday School Supt. 


1928 Charles S. Norwood, Supt. Jr. Dept., Teacher, Deacon, Finance 

Trustee, 1st Bylaws, Restoration of Sanctuary 1960 & Education 

Bldg., Church Historian 

1950 Mrs. Mary C. Norwood, Teacher, President W.M.U. 

1909 D.L. Cuthrell, Deacon, Supt. Sunday School, Organizer of State 

Baraca Class in 1916 

1916 Ms. Carrie Dorrity, Organizer of State Philathea Class. 

1923 S.F. Teague, Sunday School Supt. 

1927 Victor Pate, Sunday School Supt. 

1925-1955 M.A. Shaver, Sunday School Supt., Deacon, Clerk, Organizer of 

Adamsville Baptist Church 

1925 Mrs. T.N. Waters, W.M.U. 

1930 A.V. Washburn, Supt. Sunday School, Deacon. 

1931 E.C. Futrell, Sunday School Secy, and Church Clerk. 

1939 H.V. Modlin, Deacon, Trustee, Finance, Sunday School Supt. 

1939 Dr. A.H. Zealy, Deacon. 

1939 Wayne F. Smith, Deacon. 

1934 Mrs. I.L. Kelly, Mission, Greenleaf Mission Leader. 

1925 George W. Waters, Deacon. 

1925 Rev. Forrest Jones and Mrs. Forrest Jones, Teacher and Mission 


1925 B.F. Carr, Deacon, Sunday School Superintendent. 

1916 Mrs. Lora Suggs, Teacher, Mrs. Lucy Jones. 

1925 Graham Hood 

1925 Gertrude Prince Hood 

1926 Eleanor Daniels Ward 
1930 Emmett Williams 

1950 Margaret Howell, Sunday School Secretary 

1950 Julian Gaskill, Teacher, Bylaws, Deacon. 

Mrs. Faye Gaskill, President W.M.U. 

1950 R.M. Purser, Trustee, Finance, Deacon, Teacher. 

1958-1960 Mrs. Cecil Best (Nellie Edwards), President W.M.U. 

1925 H.G. Maxwell, Deacon 

1915 O.L. Ipock, Church Clerk, followed J.M. Hollowell, Deacon. 

Mrs. D.H. Bland, President W.M.U. 

1925 Judge D.H. Bland, Deacon, Choir. 

1926 Annie Mildred Kelly Ginn, 1st Financial Secy. 

1927 H.L. Graham, Finance Secy., Deacon. 

1928 Guion Lee, Clerk. 

1929-1951 Mrs. A.V. Washburn, 1st Financial Secy., Church Clerk. 

1929 Roy Sasser, Deacon, Bylaws. 

1929 Roy J. Parker, Head Usher, Assistant Pastor, Deacon. 

1929 Ethel Lylies, Secy. 

1925-1950 Laura Harrell, Financial Secy., W.M.U. Pres. 

1936 William S. Gibson, Deacon, Choir 

1936 Mrs. Clyde Crawford, W.M.U. Pres., Teacher. 

1938 Roy J. Parker, Jr. Deacon, Usher, Building and Grounds. 

1937 Dr. Annie D. Denmark, W.M.U. Pres., Treacher. 
1941-1941 Mrs. A.J. Smith, President W.M.U. 1947-1948. 


1950-1960 J. Ben Burroughs, Deacon, Finance. 
1950-1960 D.N. Alexander, Deacon, Finance & Budget. 

1945 Mildred Crowder, Music Director, Young People Director. 

1946 Luther R. Thomas, Deacon, Teacher of Men, Sunday School 

1946 J.W. Gaddy, Deacon, Teacher Men's Bible Class, Sunday School 

1946 B.G. Stowe, Deacon, Finance & Budget Secy., Custodian, Bldg. & 

1926 Mr. J.C. Pate, Sunday School Secy for 20 years. 

1912 Mrs. J.C. Pate, Organist (1912-1946), 34 years. 

1938 W. Carroll Bryan, Chairman, Board of Deacons, Teacher. 

1947 O.C. Liles, Sunday School Assist, without title. 

1946 Mrs. J. Andrew Smith, Church Treas., W.M.U. Pres. 1940. 

1945 Mrs. B.A. Loftin, Church Secy., Finance Secy. 

1946 W. Powell Bland, Teacher, organizer of Madison Ave. Baptist 

1946 John L. Henderson, Deacon, Teacher, Choir. 

1946 Mrs. W.F. Mintz (Elizabeth Smith), Organist and Choir Director 

1946 Jesse Hinson, Deacon, Teacher. 

Mrs. Fred Harrell, Secy., Teacher, President W.M.U. 
1946 Paul Edmondson, Teacher of Men's Bible Class, Deacon. 
1946 Thomas Snypes, Teacher, Deacon, Choir, Finance. 
1946 Mrs. Virginia C. Henderson, Teacher, Deacon, President W.M.U. 

1946 Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hocutt, Building Comm., Deacon. 
1946 Mr. and Mrs. G. Frank Seymour, Trustee, Deacon, Teacher, 

1978-1981 Mrs. John R. Crawford, Jr. (Annie Laurie), President W.M.U., 


1946 Mrs. Catherine M. Ham, Teacher, W.M.U., Historian. 

1947 Louis Bullock, Choir Director. 

1955 John R. Crawford, Jr., Deacon, Property Manager, Finance, 

Building Custodian. 
1955 Julian Gaskill, Deacon, Teacher, Bylaws. 

1948 Earl Stapleton, Choir Director. 
1940 Mrs. Carroll Bryan, Teacher. 

1949 Andy and Barbara Griffith, Choir. 
1938 E.H. Bain, Deacon. 

1949 Gloria Mayer, Director of Young People. 
1949 R.E. Bryan, Finance, Bylaws Comm., Deacon. 
1946 Raymond A. Bryan, Deacon, Finance, Benefactor. 
1946 J.H. Manley, Deacon. 

1949 Bruce Duke, Deacon. 

1951 Mrs. Ruby D. Griffin, Church Treas. 

1950 Jack Bracy, Interim Pastor for A.J. Smith. 
1950 Mr. Gerald Layden, Trustee, Deacon. 
1950 Mrs. Carolyn Layden, Church Secy. 

1952 Mrs. Henry Modlin, Jr., Church Secy. 


1951 Rev. Frederick Jones, Supply Pastor. 

1954 Rev. Roy Beal, 1st pastor of new Madison Ave. Bapt. Church. 

1954-1956 Mrs. L.L. Edgerton (Ruth Boyce), President W.M.U. 

1950 Henry Belk, Deacon. 

1952 Mrs. Henry Belk, President W.M.U. 

1950 George E. Bain, Teacher, Deacon, Secy., Supt. Sunday School, 

1958 Mrs. George Bain (Zula), Building Comm., Deacon, Finance. 

1960 Ralph Bland, Finance, Budget. 

1958 Ray A. Bryan, Jr., Deacon, Finance, Bldg. Comm., Usher. 

1959 D. Ed Howell, Supt. of Sunday School. 

1960 Simon Jessee, Supt. Sunday School, Deacon, Secy. 
1962-1965 Mrs. Lois Carter, Church Secy. 

1968 Wm. R. Crow, Church Deacon, Teacher, Bylaws Comm. 
1960 E. Bruce Sloop, Minister of Music. 

1969 Dr. M.G. Delbridge, Church Pulpit Comm., Deacon, Finance. 
1969 Leland Hairr, Deacon, Finance, Teacher, Usher. 

1969 Lola Delbridge, Bldg. Comm., Deacon, Teacher. 

1969 Ida Williams, Pulpit Comm. Deacon, Finance, Day Care 

1969 James L. Williams, Teacher, Deacon, Committee Ch. Finance and 

Building & Grounds. 

1960 Henson Barnes, Child Care, Usher, Deacon, Finance. 

1960-1978 Ruth Kemp, Financial Secy. 

1969 Rev. John T. Bunn, Supply Pastor for Gilmer Cross. 

1970 Joe James, Deacon, Director of Expansion Program. 
1970 John Duke, Usher, Budget & Finance. 

1970 Odell Tyndall, Deacon, Choir. 

1970 Douglas Sturgill, Minister of Education. 

1972 Robert Malpass, Deacon, Usher. 

1971-1976 Mrs. Gilmer Cross, President W.M.U. 

1972 Glen Chitty, Treas., Deacon. 

1967-1968 Mrs. Mildred Gaylor, President W.M.U. 

1960 William L. Powell, Deacon, Finance, Pulpit Comm., Trustee. 

1972 Ralph and Catherine Smith, Deacon and Day Care 

1960 Mrs. Emily Powell, President W.M.U., Child Care, Deacon. 

1972 T.T. Powell, Deacon, Teacher. 

1945 Ellen Piner, Minister of Music. 

1965-1980 Gordon Fletcher, Minister of Music. 

1951 Cecil Best, Deacon, Bylaws. 

1972 Dallas Preswood, Minister of Education. 

1972 Sid Briley, Deacon, Scout Leader. 

1972 Troy Pate, Deacon, Finance Comm. Ch. 

1973 Mrs. Carlyle Eure (Adell Sherard), President W.M.U., Bylaws, 

1975 Jerome Mathews, Deacon. 

1920-1951 Catherine Mathews Ham, Teacher, President W.M.U., Historian. 

1975 Parham Taylor, Deacon, Teacher, United Missions Treas. 

1975 Cecil Merritt, Deacon, Teacher, Choir. 

1975 Karl Malpass, Deacon, Teacher. 





Mrs. Loren Pate, Kindergarten, President W.M.U. 

Kenneth Fulghum, Deacon, Day Care, Finance. 

James Pittman, Teacher, Church Treasurer. 

Ray Bryan, Jr., Deacon, Finance Ch. 

John Getsinger, Church Treas. 

Bruce Malpass, Deacon, Usher 

Sarah Ellis Getsinger, President W.M.U. , Librarian. 

Harry Overby, Deacon, Finance, Library. 

Sam Everette, Education Minister. 

Farris Duncan, Deacon. 

Mack H. Privott, Deacon, Finance. 

Mrs. Randall Adams, President W.M.U. 

Steve Lucas, Education Minister. 

Mrs. Glenn Chitty, President W.M.U. 

David Daily, Education Minister. 

Charles Stackhouse, Deacon, Finance, Bylaws. 

Gordon Maxwell, III, Deacon, Finance, Usher. 

Don and Joy Jacobs, Deacons. 

Charles Gaylor, Trustee, Deacon. 

Rhonda Gaylor, Child Care. 

Randall Adams, Deacon, Choir. 

Rev. John H. Bunn, Teacher. 

Mrs. Helen Barbour, Director of Child Care. 

CD. Mixon, Usher, Budget Finance, Deacon, Building & 


Carlyle and Adell Eure, Deacon, Finance, Hostess, Usher. 

John H. Bunn, Jr., Interim Pastor, 1969. 

Karl Malpass 

W.H. Malpass, Jr. 

Dorene Musgrave Brown 

Jeneverette Thigpen 

Isabel Denmark 

Anna Parker 

Fay Meador 

Hallie Pate 

Sadie P. Barnes 

Dan Ward 

Mildren Ginn 

Eleanor Ward 

Roy Parker 

John Duke 

Gertrude Hood 

Eliza Casteen 

George Casteen 

Hilda Trueblood 

Julia M. Holder 

Members for over 50 years as 

Eva Scott 
Cleo Seymour 
Vera Cohn 

Howard D. Carroll, Sr. 
Patti Shumate 
Kiver Denning 
John R. Crawford 
Luna Modlin 
T.R. Jackson 
Bettie Sandford 
Tommy Snypes 
Janie James 
Margaret Howell 
Effie McCullen 
William C. Futrelle 
Edward Little 
Catherine Smith 
Grace Nolan 
Sarah Howell 

of 1988 

Mr. B.J. Phifer 
Mrs. B.J. Phifer 
Ruby Griffin 
Rachel Hunt Brown 
Catherine Ham 
William A. Prince 
Nellie Best 
Ruby Bryan 
Virginia Henderson 
Charles S. Norwood 
Cynthia Daughtry Pollock 
Mildred Smith Maxwell 
Ruth Mathews 
Delia Denmark 
Gladys Harris Ratley 
Shelton Brown 
George E. Bain 
Annie Hollingsworth 
Caroline Dorrity 



More History of Special Events in the Life of the Church 
1894 Waynesborough Religious Interest recorded by Rev. J.T. Albrit- 

1886-1981 A History of the Women's Missionary Union of First Baptist, 

organization in 1886 to 1981, by Catherine Ham, Historian. 
1860-1912 Biblical Recorders' Report of the Five State. Conventions held in 

Goldsboro. 1860 - 1867 - 1880 - 1891 all in the first church built 

in 1858. 1912, December 12th, on completion of new brick 

1900-1979 History of the By Laws of the Church. 
1904-1980 Church Memorials (See Special Photo Album in Library and 

also Memorial Book in South Vestibule. 
1946-1983 Kindergarten to Day Care Ministry. 
1982 United Church Ministries. 

1987 Dr. E. Leon Smith is elected President of N.C. State Convention. 

1832 Origin of the State Convention. 

In conclusion . . . 

Most of this history was written in 1969. It was first published in the 
NEWS -ARGUS and then in the Church Directory of 1970. Part III called the 
Addendum enables me to cover in more detail events and subjects that were not 
covered sufficiently in the first writing and gives me the opportunity to add 
major events and items since the cutoff date for Part I in 1982. 

A New Marker - A New View 



By Rev. J.T. Albritton, Mt. Olive 
February 1, 1894 (Goldsboro Headlight) 

In this paper, I wish to tell of the religious interests of the old town. I am in- 
debted to Rev. C.J. Nelson, of Goldsboro, for many of the facts that follow. When 
Bro. Nelson moved to Waynesborough in 1838, he found there no house of wor- 
ship. A free house was built about 1840 through the liberality of Richard 
Washington, Geo. W. Collier, and John Wright, Martin Stevenson, and others. 

The first public Sunday School ever organized in Wayne County, Bro. Nelson 
states, was the school he organized in Waynesborough about the date of 1842. 
This school still exists, and is known as the Sunday School of the First Baptist 
Church of Goldsboro. My memory can recall but very few incidents of my Sun- 
day School life during my residence in the town, as I was not at all inclined to 
have anything to do with religious matters of any sort. I was afraid of all 
preachers and shunned them as I would a snake. (By the way, the time has been 
that the reverend gentlemen were to be feared, and their title "reverend" from 
"revered" to fear, was quite appropriate.) 

But I remember that the Bible was in more general use than now, the 
memorizing and repeating of long passages of Scripture being a common and 
popular practice. My little sister Fannie, when in her sixth year, repeated from 
memory the whole of the third chapter of Matthew. Several of the first pupils of 
the school were first taught their letters and how to read in that school, and after- 
wards became pious and useful members of the church. 

Between 1840 and 1842 quite a religious awakening was brought about by 
the visit and labors of Revs. Robt. McNabb, David Thompson, and Dupree, Bap- 
tist ministers, and several professions of religion resulted. The meetings were 
held alternately in the free church of Waynesborough and in the old Academy of 
Goldsboro. Another great awakening occurred later on or about the year 1848 
under the leadership of Rev. Ira T. Wyche, a Methodist minister, who impressed 
me as not being a very eloquent speaker, but a man of deep piety and great 
earnestness. I was an unconcerned spectator, but I remember that many of the 
prominent citizens of the surrounding country made a profession of religion dur- 
ing the progress of that meeting. 

As the outcome of the first religious awakening, the church now known as 
the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro was organized. This occurred in 1842 or 
43. The church applied for membership in the Union (now Eastern) Association 
in 1844 through her delegates, T.C. Garrison and Rev. Wm. Robinson, the 
pastor. The constituent members of the church were Chas. J. Nelson, Thomas C. 
Garrison, Mrs. Lizzie Garrison, Patsy Powell, and Cynthia Ellis. Brother Nelson 
is the only original member now living. He resides in Goldsboro, retains a large 
measure of his physical vigor, and preaches wherever opportunity offers. 

Beginning with five members, this church reported a membership of twenty- 
three to the Association in 1844. To my mind, the most remarkable and gracious 
revival with which God has ever blessed this church was the great revival of 
1856, during the pastorate of Dr. David Coulling of Richmond, Va. The church 
then worshipped in the old Academy, which stood on or near the spot now oc- 
cupied by the new Methodist Church called St. Paul's. While Dr. Coulling did 


most of the preaching, and was the leading spirit in the meeting, A. P. Repiton, 
Dr. Chas. F. Deems, and Dr. Jas. B. Taylor, Sr. Corresponding Secretary of the 
F.M. Board of the S. B. Convention, preached, at least once each, during the 
meeting. Dr. Deems probably preached more than once, as he was at the time 
pastor of the Goldsboro Methodist Church. I heard him once, however, and still 
remember much of his able and lucid sermon on Faith. 

Dr. Taylor's sermon was timely. Many of us were troubled about restricted 
communion, and we requested him to preach on that subject. He cheerfully com- 
plied. He didn't put on war paint, as too many preachers do when they discuss 
distinctive principles, but with much tenderness and affection he spoke the truth 
with great plainness, showing that we, in common with other leading denomina- 
tions, required the scriptural prerequisites of repentance, faith, baptism, and 
church membership. We saw what we should have seen before, and what 
everybody, it seems to me should be able to see that the trouble was not about 
the terms of communions, but about what constitutes scriptural baptism. Bro. 
Coulling, under God, led me to Christ, and Bro. Taylor led me into the Baptist 
Church. I believe that about one hundred persons professed faith in Christ dur- 
ing the meeting, some uniting with the Baptists, and some going to other 
denominations. Dr. Deems immersed some of the new converts in Neuse River, 
just as Dr. Coulling did. 

From the date of organization in Waynesborough, 1842 or 43, to the present, 
the following 1 ministerial brethren have occupied the pastorate of the First Bap- 
tist Church of Goldsboro: David Thompson, of Smithfield, Wm. Robinson, A.J. 
Battle, H. Miner, J.J. James, editor of the Recorder, Samuel Wait, president of 
Wake Forest College, David Coulling, George Bradford, Geo. W. Keesee, N.B. 
Cobb, P.D. Gold, Theodore Whitfield, J.B. Hardwicke, Geo. W. Sanderlin, C. 
Durham, F.H. Ivey, Thomas Dixon, J.S. Dill, J.H. Edwards, and C.A. Jenkens. 

Although many years have passed away since the severance of my connec- 
tion with this church, I have lost none of my interest in her welfare. Here was my 
first ecclesiastical home, having been baptized into her fellowship by Dr. Coull- 
ing, October 5th, 1856. She granted me license to preach January 12th, 1857. In 
my twenty-first year, I was ordained to the full work of the ministry by this 
church February 18th, 1859. Dr. Thos. E. Skinner of Raleigh, preaching the or- 
dination sermon. It was a good sermon, but it was too long for Bro. George Brad- 
ford, who had to follow with the charge to the candidate. Some say that Bro. 
Bradford had gone to sleep under Dr. Skinner's sermon, and had to be aroused 
from his slumber to act his part in the programme. He was soon wide awake, 
however, and charged vigorously. His charge was double barrelled, and was 
aimed at Dr. Skinner as well as myself. Looking at the Doctor, he emphatically 
charged me "never to preach long sermons until I had made up my mind that I 
was a great preacher." The congregation smiled, and Dr. Skinner tried to. I shall 
never forget what a hearty laugh we three had over that charge when we 
chanced to meet, some years afterwards at Brother Pescud's residence during the 
session of the S. B. Convention in Raleigh. Bro. Bradford, I believe, has gone to 
heaven. May Bro. Skinner have many years of usefulness before him before the 
Lord shall call him away. 


The Lord grant Brother Nelson, who has watched with fatherly solicitude the 
Goldsboro Baptist Church through all her varying vicissitudes from her constitu- 
tion to the present time, abundant grace and peace through our Lord Jesus 

Teacher of Class No. 5 in 1857 
Ordained to Ministry in 1859 

Wake Forest Student 1857 



First Baptist Church about 1895, showing parsonage, Sunday School room addition and 
church, 1900. 1 15 South John Street. 



1886 - 1984 

The First Baptist Church of Goldsboro 
can be humbly proud and thankful that 
God worked through its members to play a 
large part in the organization of the 
Woman's Missionary Union. 

In 1886, Dr. Theodore Whitfield was 
pastor of our church. His wife Annie Eliza 
Morehead Whitfield encouraged her hus- 
band to preach many missionary sermons 
and to invite missionary speakers. 

Dr. Whitfield represented North 
Carolina as vice-president of the Foreign 
Mission Board. 

So in 1886 Annie Morehead Whitfield 
organized the women of the Goldsboro 
Church into a Woman's Missionary Society 
and became its first president. 

Theodore Whitfield and Annie 

Morehead Whitfield at the time of 

their marriage, 1859. 

Similar missionary societies were being 
organized throughout the state. 

After about a year the Whitfields mov- 
ed to Richmond, Virginia where Dr. Whit- 
field became pastor of the Baptist church 
and Annie Whitfield presided over the 
committee which organized the Woman's 
Missionary union of the Southern Baptist 
Convention in 1888. 

In 1891, the Baptist State Convention 
met in Goldsboro at the First Baptist 
Church. This was the first time that 
women were invited to a State Convention. 
They came in such large numbers, the 
church could not accomodate the. St. Paul 
Methodist Church, across the street, 
graciously invited the ladies to meet in 
their new church. That is where they met 
and organized the 1st Womens Missionary 
Union of North Carolina. 

St. Paul Methodist Church built in 1883. 
Steeple toppled by Hurricane Hazel in 1954. 


The second and fifth president of our W.M.U. was Mrs. H.L. Grant (Lizzie). 
(1887-88) (1894-96). She organized the first Sunbeam Band in the church. 

Our church W.M.U. send $500.00 for Church Building Loan Fund of the 
Home Mission Board in her memory. 

The third president was Mrs. William Robinson 1888-1890. She was the 
grandmother of Emmett Robinson. Her son, Dr. M.E. Robinson gave a large 
memorial window in our church in her memory. 

The fourth president was Mrs. Ellen Edwards 1891-1893. She was Rev. Hart- 
well Edward's mother. 

The sixth and ninth president was Mrs. Robert E. Pipkin (1897-1898). During 
her presidency in 1908 (1906-1912) Mrs. W.M. Petway organized the first Royal 
Ambassadors in the state. 

The seventh president was Mrs. Frank B. Edmundson. (1899) 

The eighth president was Mrs. Sue Robinson Pettiway. (1900-1905) 

The tenth president was Mrs. J.E. Peterson. (1913) (Kate Parker) During her 
term bazaars were held in a downtown store to sell hot chocolate and handmade 
items for Christmas. The money was to be used for missions. Mrs. Hattie Criser 
led the Sunbeams. 

The eleventh president was Mrs. C.E. Wilkins. (1914) (Minnie Grant) 


The twelveth and fourteenth president was Mrs. Paul Yelverton. (1915) 
(1923-24) (Annie Pipkins) Mrs. D.L. Cuthrell led the Y. W. A.'s. 

The thirteenth president was Mrs. E.L. Edmundson. (1916-1922) (Lois 

The fifteenth president was Mrs. George A. Norwood. (1 925- 1928) (Louise 
Hart) She corresponded with the missionaries and would always have a letter 
from them to read at the meetings. 

The sixteenth president was Mrs. John R. Crawford. (1929-1939) (Clyde Den- 

She was a wonderful president and held an executive board meeting (well at- 
tended) every month at her house. 

She inspired the women to do more for missions. 

Fifty years of W.M.U. work in our church was observed with old-fashioned 

The church parlor was given by her family as a memorial to her. 

At this time in 1936 the Greenleaf Mission was started at the home of Mrs. 
Lucy Jones. 

Mrs. I.L. Kelly, Miss Will (Lora) Suggs and Mrs. Harry Shumate got together 
and started services with Mrs. Forest Jones as president of the W.M.U. and Rev. 
Forrest Jones as pastor. 

With the help of members of the First Baptist Church and the Baptist State 
Convention a church building was purchased on Frank Street in 1939. In 1963 
they have a lovely new building and 180 members. The mission became Calvary 
Baptist Church on US 70 Bypass east. 

The building site for Madison Avenue Church was given in memory of Mr. 
and Mrs. John R. Crawford by their children with the mother church giving 
$ 100.00 a month for 4 years. 

The seventeenth president was Mrs. J. Andrew Smith. (1940) (Hazel Hunt) 

Each December she would plan special services for presenting the Lottie 
Moon Christmas offerings. Using colored lights as the offering increased. 

The eighteenth and twentieth president was Mrs. Alfred J. Smith. (Maybelle 
Shafer) (1941-1942) (1947-1948) She was the pastor's wife and encouraged the 
women to give $1.00 each at circle meetings. 

Group meetings were held every quarter in county churches with dinner on 
the grounds. Later the W.M.U. of the Neuse Association was organized, meeting 
once a year in the spring. 85 members of W.M.S. attended a dinner at the Seven 
Springs Hotel and gave reports from Ridgecrest. 

The nineteenth president was Mrs. Fred Harrell. (1943-1946) (Laura Lou 
Young) She put a lot of pep into the meetings. She became President of the 
W.M.U. of the Neuse Association and organized many W.M.U. in the Associa- 
tion. The Laura Harrell Chapter was dedicated in her memory. 


1945 W.M.U. meeting in Church. First row, left to right: Rachel Tudor, Mrs. James Wm. 
Tudor, Mrs. Washburn, Mrs. Loftin, Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Harrell, Mrs. A.J. Smith, Mrs. Andrew 
Smith, Mrs. J.R. Crawford, Virginia Henderson. 

The twenty-first president was Mrs. Charles Norwood. (1949-1950) She call- 
ed the women to deeper dedication. The Mary Crawford Norwood Scholarship 
Fund was set up for deserving Baptist young people. Rev. Alfred J. Smith died 
during this time. 

The twenty-second president was Mrs. George E. Ham. (Catherine Mathews) 
(Jan. 1951 - March 1952) Rev. Gilmer Cross became our next pastor. 

The twenty-third president was Mrs. Henry Belk. (Lucille Bullock (March 
1952 - October 1952) 

The twenty-fourth and thirty-second president was Mrs. John 
Henderson. (Virginia Crawford) (October 1952-54) (October 17-73) Rev. and Mrs. 
Jack Hancox was sent to Orleans, France as missionaries. They were sponsored 
by Mr. and Mrs. John Henderson. 

The twenty-fifth president was Mrs. L.L. Edgerton. (October 1954-56) (Ruth 
Boyce) During this time the A.J. Smith Memorial Building and picture was 

The twenty-sixth president was Mrs. Julian Gaskill. (1956-1958) (Faye Sutton) 
At this time Brookside Chapel was started and some of the women helped out. 
They assisted by playing the piano. One of these was Mrs. Marvin Herring. 

The twenty-eighth president was Dr. Annie Dove Denmark. (1960-1962) 
"Aunt Dovie had her Wednesday morning prayer group. 

The twenty-ninth president and thirty-fifth president was Mrs. John R. 
Crawford, Jr. (Annie Laurie Howell) (1962-1964) (1978-1981) The 75th Anniver- 
sary year of W.M.U. was observed. 



■ >:■■ 

1961 Officers and Guests Celebrate 75th Anniversary of W.M.U. Founder's Day. 
Left to right: Annie L. Crawford, Laura Harrell, Kathryn Bullard, Willa Dean Freeman, Ber- 
nice Cross, Eunice Colclough, Lola Delbridge. 

The thirtieth president and First W.M.U. Director also N.C. W.M.U. Presi- 
dent (1971-76) Mrs. Gilmer Cross (Bernice Apple). Mrs. Cross was especially in- 
terested in Girls Auxiliaries. 

The thirty-first president was Mrs. Charles Gaylor. (Mildred Ellis) 
(1967-1968) Volunteer worker at hospital and Hospital Coffee Shop Chairman. 
Encouraged others to help. 

In loving memory of Rev. Gilmer Cross who pastored our church for 17 
years, heavy duty kitchen equipment was dedicated by the church, and an oil 
portrait by his wife and daughter. 

The thirty-third president and second W.M.U. Director (1973-1975) 
(1968-1975) Mrs. Carlyle Eure. (Adell Sherard) Dr. E. Leon Smith became pastor. 

Third W.M.U. Director (1975-1981) Mrs. John Getsinger. (Sarah Ellis) Sarah 
stressed giving pennies for the hunger fund. 

The thirty-fourth president of Baptist Women Mrs. Loren Pate. (Martha 
Taylor) (1975-1978) 

The thirty-sixth president of Baptist Women (1981-1982) Mrs. Randall 
Adams. (Frances Stokes). 

Fourth W.M.U. Director (1981-1982) Mrs. Glenn Chitty (Linda Fornes). 

Fifth Director and thirty-seventh president of Baptist Women (October 1982 
June 1983) Mrs. Scott Sutton (Allison Collins). 

Sixth Director and thirty-eighth president of Baptist Women (1983-1984) Mrs. 
Banks Presson. (Amy Killian) The largest Christmas Lottie Moon Offering ever 
given $6,521.00 in our W.M.U. 


Through the years, Baptist Women have worked in Community Missions. 
Twenty-five of these years under Mrs. Loren (Will) Suggs. 

During the "Great Depression" discarded vegetables and meat bones were 
collected from the grocery stores and taken to the church where Rev. A.J. Smith 
had a "Soup Kitchen". Then the women took the soup to the schools to be fed to 
hungry children. 

Sunday night snacks were served at the church to the service men from 
Seymour Johnson Field during World War II. 

Meals on Wheels under the leadership of Emily Powell; cakes for the Flynn 
Home, visitation at the rest homes and hospitals, Cherry Hospital children were 
given parties, hymn singing for the older patients and the United Church 
Ministries are some of the activities in which many women participated. 

But through all our strivings we must not forget our main purpose - the 
Great Commission. As the beautiful missionary hymn expressed it so well. 

"So send I you, to take to souls in bondage. The word of truth that sets the cap- 
tive free; To break the bonds of sin to loose death's fetters, So send I you to bring 
the lost to me. As the Father hath sent me, So send I you." 

Catherine Ham 
President 1951 


Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, November 13, 1912 


The Convention City 

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is to meet in Goldsboro, 
December 3-6, 1912, this being the eighty-first annual session and the fifth to 
meet in that city. 

Goldsboro is a thriving city of 10,000 people and is admirably situated amid 
the broad and fertile plains bordering on the Neuse River. In this region melons 
and berries, fruits and vegetables, cotton and tobacco, are produced in abun- 
dance. Good roads radiate in every direction. Railroad facilities are excellent, 
three of our great railway systems -the Southern, the Atlantic Coast Line, and 
the Norfolk-Southern -entering the city. 

Numerous industries here find a home; manufacturing plants, lumber, 
cotton-seed oil, furniture, foundry, printing, tobacco warehouses and the like. 
Several papers are published here, including the Argus (daily and semi-weekly), 
the Headlight, and the Record (weeklies.) The street car system was installed last 
year. The Kennon is the leading of several good hotels and boarding houses. The 
streets are paved as are the sidewalks throughout almost the entire ciry. There 
are many nice residences, good churches, and admirable public buildings, -in 
fact, all the paraphernalia of a growing city with a great future. 

The visitor will find among the objects of interest in the city the Graded 
Schools where Drs. Joyner, Alderman, Moses, Claxton, Foust, and others got 
their start; the new Hospital recently completed; the Odd Fellows Orphanage, a 
glimpse of which we are giving elsewhere in this issue; Herman Park; the City 


Hall; Willowdale Cemetery; and the State's Eastern Hospital for the Insane (col- 
ored), two miles west of the city. 

With the people of Goldsboro hospitality is a cardinal virtue. When, 
therefore, the Convention messengers assemble there next month from all parts 
of the State, they will be given the keys of a goodly city and an open door into 
many a charming home. 

The First Baptist Church of Goldsboro 

A Historical Sketch 

The story of the Baptists of Goldsboro is an interesting one. For the brief facts 
we are able to publish herewith we are indebted to the records of the church and 
to a short historical summary prepared some years ago by Capt. J.J. Robinson. 

Organization in 1843 

The church was organized in 1843 at old Waynesborough, one mile south of 
the present city of Goldsboro, which was then the county-seat of Wayne County. 

It was constituted by a presbytery consisting of the Executive Board of what 
was then Union (later the Eastern) Association, namely, Brethren Benjamin 
Oliver, George R. French, and Laban Carroll. 

Five members went into the organization: Chas. J. Nelson, on letter from 
New Bern; Thomas C. Garrason and wife, Lizzie, on letter from Petersburg, Va.; 
Mrs. Patsy Powell, on letter from Smithfield; and Cynthia Ellis. 

The first place of worship was the free meeting-house, where services were 
held for eight years. 

A Sunday school -the first in the county -had been organized in 1840 by Bro. 
C.J. Nelson and he continued as superintendent until 1862, not missing a single 
Sunday in these twenty-two years. 

In the year 1850 services were abandoned at Waynesborough as most of the 
inhabitants had moved to Goldsboro, the new county seat. Here services were 
held in the Academy building for several years until the church secured a lot and 
built its first house of worship. 

The Register of Pastors 

During the early years preaching was rather irregular, the appointment being 
only for once-a-month services. 

There were ten pastors of the church before the outbreak of the Civil War. 
The first was David Thomson of Smithfield. he was followed by Geo. W. 
Dupree, of Wake County; William Robinson; A.J. Battle; Harley Minor, who 
came from New York; J.J. James, whose salary was supplemented by the State 
Mission Board; Samuel Wait: David Coulling, who came from Petersburg, Va., 
and whose ministry was marked by a great revival resulting in hundreds of con- 
versions and many additions to the churches, more than eighty being baptized by 
him; George Bradford, who served in 1858 and 1859; and G.W. Keesee, who 
after two years' service was stricken with typhoid fever and died in 1861, the 
only pastor who had died while serving this church. 


During and since the Civil War the following is the register of pastors with 
the date of the beginning of their pastorates: N.B. Cobb in 1862; P.D. Gold in 
1863; Theodore Whitfield in 1864; J.B. Hardwick in 1866; Geo. W. Sanderlin in 
1868; Columbus Durham in 1871; F.H. Ivey in 1876; Theodore Whitfield in 1883; 
Thos. Dixon, Jr. in 1886; J.S. Dill in 1888; J. Hartwell Edwards in 1891; C.A. 
Jenkens in 1893; James Long in 1895; W.C. Newton in 1899; C.A. Jenkens in 
1901; W.F. Fry in 1903; and Geo. T. Watkins, the present pastor, in 1908. 

It will at once be recognized that in this list of twenty-five pastors appear the 
names of some of the foremost ministers of our denomination. 

A Mother of Ministers and Churches 

The following ministers have gone out to their work from the membership of 
this church: Needham B. Cobb, John T. Albritton, Charles J. Nelson, John T. Ed- 
mundson, Junius W. Millard, J. Hiram Grant, and Carter H. Jenkens. 

At least three, and perhaps more, churches have been established by the 
membership of the First Church, namely: Second Church of Goldsboro, Bryan 
Street Church of Goldsboro, and Emmaus and Eureka Churches, both of which 
are several miles in the country. All are doing good work. 

The Goldsboro Conventions 

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has held four of its annual 
sessions in the city of Goldsboro. We make brief mention of the features of each 
session as given in the Historical Table of the Convention Annual and as 
sketched in "The History of the Baptist State Convention" by Rev. Livingston 

The Convention of 1860 

Over the Convention of 1860, held October 31 to November 3, Elder James 
McDaniel presided. Elder W.T. Brooks was Recording Secretary; Elder B.F. 
Marable, Corresponding Secretary; Mr. S.S. Biddle, Treasurer; and Elder H. 
Petty, preacher of the introductory sermon. 

Brethren N.B. Cobb, and W.R. Gwaltney attended for the first time. Dr. T.E. 
Skinner was received as agent for the Raleigh Female Seminary, and for this 
enterprise received $2,200 in cash and subscriptions. 

The recommendation to create separate Boards for the different objects of the 
Convention was referred to a committee which recommended the continuance 
of the present plan of having but one Board for all objects. 

Colportage work was vigorously prosecuted the past year, there being ten 
colporters and the results of their work quite encouraging. 

The Convention of 1867 

Two Conventions were held this year; that on May 22-25 being held in Wil- 
mington, when the time was changed to October, and the latter session was held 
in Goldsboro, October 16-19. 

President James McDaniel, who had occupied the chair continuously since 
1849, served here his last time in this capacity. Elders J.L. Carroll and G.W. 
Sanderlin were Recording Secretaries; Elder W.T. Walters was Corresponding 
Secretary; Elder James S. Purefoy was Treasurer; and Dr. J.L. Carroll was 
preacher of introductory sermon. 


Dr. T.H. Pritchard was received as a visitor from Petersburg, Va., whither he 
had recently gone from Hertford, this State. Regret was expressed that Dr. T.E. 
Skinner had resigned the pastorate of the church in Raleigh and was going to 
another state. 

At the request of the colored brethren a committee was appointed to aid them 
in organizing the Colored Baptist State Convention. 

The Board of Missions reported that about $2,000 had been collected and ex- 
pended since the meeting of the Convention in May. Less than $100 each had 
been contributed to Home and Foreign Missions, which was due to the fact that 
each Board had an agent in the State and contributions did not pass through the 
hands of the State Convention Treasurer. 

Dr. Samuel Wait, one of the Convention founders, the first President of Wake 
Forest College, and the President of Oxford Female Seminary, had died since last 

The Committee on Periodicals said that the Biblical Recorder should go into 
the homes of all our people. "It will carry news to them from all parts of the State 
and so cheaply -only $3." 

The Convention of 1880 

The date of the meeting was November 17-20. Dr. N.B. Cobb served the 
second of his three terms as President. The Secretaries were brethren William 
Biggs and N.B. Broughton. Brother John E. Ray was serving the third term of his 
ten years as Corresponding Secretary. Brother B.F. Montague was Treasurer. 
Elder F.H. Jones preached the introductory sermon. 

Dr. R.H. Graves, missionary in China, was present. The financial showing of 
Foreign Missions was the best thus far in the history of the Convention, the total 
amount raised during the year being $4,696.46. 

After much discussion a resolution was adopted requesting the Foreign 
Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to appoint agencies for the col- 
lection of funds in this State only on the recommendation of the Mission Board of 
this Convention. 

This being the semi-centennial year of the organization of the Convention, 
suitable exercises were held on Saturday night. When the Convention was 
organized in 1830 there were 15,000 Baptists in the State. In 1880 there were 
100,000 white and 80,000 colored Baptists in North Carolina. 

The Convention of 1891 

The date of meeting was November 11-15. Dr. R.H. Marsh, of Oxford, was 
elected President for the first time -a position he held with great acceptability 
for fourteen years. The Secretaries were Brethren N.B. Broughton and N.B. 
Cobb. Dr. Columbus Durham was Corresponding Secretary, his term having 
begun in 1888. Brother J.D. Boushall was Treasurer. Dr. Thomas Hume was 
preacher of the introductory sermon. 

A debt of $1,800 was reported on State Missions, though during the past year 
a larger amount had been collected and paid out to missionaries than ever before. 
Dr. Hufham led the collection to meet the obligation, the amount in cash and 
pledges being $1,074.55. 


The bequests of Brother Arthur C. Melke to Ministerial Education and the or- 
phanage, and $ 16,000 to the Ministerial Relief Board were reported. 

Rev. M.L. Kesler, who had been elected Sunday School Secretary the 
preceding June, resigned his position in order to go into the pastorate. 

Dr. W.R. Gwaltney, Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Ministerial 
Education, reported $2,229.22 raised and no debt. 

The Woman's Missionary Societies held their first annual meeting during the 
session of this Convention. The contributions the past year had increased 60 per 
cent and pastors were reported as taking more interest in woman's work> 

Cordial welcome was given to Dr. J.M. Frost, representing the new Sunday 
School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his speech he said that 
three-fifths of all the Baptist churches in the South are without Sunday schools. 

It will thus be seen that the Baptists of North Carolina have hitherto made 
some important history in their sessions held at Goldsboro. The fifth of their 
annual gatherings in that goodly city is to convene December 3-6, 1912. Let us 
hope and pray that it will be better than either of its illustrious predecessors and 
one of the best ever held in the history of the Convention. 


The history of the Bylaws has been one change after another for the past 
thirty years. To insert the present 13 pages of Bylaws would be useless as it 
would be out of date before it was printed. Reference is made to the last printing 
in the Directory of 1979. 

We did not have any Bylaws for the first fifty years. The first recorded 
Bylaws was in 1897. It was submitted by the State Convention and was adopted 
along with a suggested Church Covenant. Very little was ever said about it. In 
1926 we found a one typed page Plan of Worship in the Minutes which satisfied 
most of the people and the pastor for the next twenty-five years. In 1951 a 
Bylaws Committee was appointed to recommend a new order and plan of 
worship, and duties of the different committees. Every year since then there has 
been deletions and additions. 

It is recommended that one ask for the latest revised printing and compare it 
with the revised edition adopted in March, 1979. Bylaws are important and 
should be read by all members to know the thinking of the pastor and the 
Diaconate and know the direction they are leading the church. They make and 
change the Bylaws. One should study the Bylaws before accepting an invitation 
to serve, and should know that you are expected to attend the monthly meeting 
regularly and to conform with the Bylaws. 


Having been, as we trust, brought by Divine Grace to embrace the Lord Jesus 
Christ and to give ourselves wholly to Him, we do now solemnly and joyfully 
covenant with each other to walk together in Him in brotherly love to His 
glory as our common Lord. We do therefore, in His strength engage that we will 
exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully warn, 
exhort and admonish each other as occasion may require; that we will not for- 
sake the assembling of ourselves together, but will uphold the public worship of 


God and the ordinance of His house; that we will not omit closet and family 
religion at home, nor neglect the great duty of religiously training our children, 
and those under our care for the service of Christ and the enjoyment of 
Heaven -that is, we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, we will 
seek Divine aid, to enable us to deny ungodliness and every worldly lust and to 
walk circumspectly in the world, that we may win the souls of men; that we will 
cheerfully contribute of our property, according as God has prospered us, for the 
maintenance of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, for the support of 
the poor, and to spread the gospel over the earth; that we will in all conditions, 
even till death, strive to live to the glory of Him who hath called, us out of 
darkness with his marvelous light. 

"And may the God of Peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, 
that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 
make us perfect in every good work, to do His will, working in us that which is 
well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and 
ever. Amen." 

This covenant was adopted by the church in 1897. 


You will find our Book of Memorials dating from 1904. It covers gifts of 
silver, land deeds, bulletin boards and furniture; also a list of memorial windows 
at the time the church was built in 1912, furnishings for the pulpit, table and 
chairs, flower stand, etc. 

The beautiful stained glass windows all date back to 1912 when the church 
was built. Each one is adequately marked and need not be described here. All 
windows can be viewed in color photographs in a Special Album of Memorials in 
the library. 

The 1912 communion table now at the entrance to the Fellowship Hall was a 
gift of the Grant family when the church was built. It matches the other pulpit 



In 1922 a bulletin board in memory of W.V. Williams was a gift by his son, 
Fraser Williams, and is still in service. 

A display of silver plates, goblets, vases and communion sets arranged 
especially for the Memorials Inventory may be studied in more detail in the 
library book. 

1859 3-Piece Set, Cup-Bowl-Tankard, in front center, 1st Communion Service of First 

1891 2-Piece, Cup and Large Tankard, Second Baptist Church Set. 
1904 Round Communion Set to left. Gift by Mrs. A.S. Turner. 
1912 Round Communion Set to right. Gift by children of Mrs. Lizzie Grant. 
1947 2 Candelabra, gift of children of George A. & Louise H. Norwood. 


Tall Silver Vase at rear, gift in memory of Aunt Mollie Waters. 

2 Silver Wine Coolers, gift of Sunday School class in memory of Clyde D. Crawford, Teacher. 

Large punch bowl and tray, gift of 7 ladies: Mrs. Williams, Mixon, McKeel, Gibson, Malpass, 

Bain, and Crawford. 
1975 2 New large communion sets purchased by Memorial Committee, Sam Hocutt, Ch. 

1965 - At the time of redesigning the sanctuary and moving the choir loft, a 
new organ was purchased and chimes were added as a memorial to Mrs. Hattie 
Farrior Criser who left her entire estate to the church. 

1955 - The Clyde Denmark Crawford Parlor was rebuilt from a classroom 
with funds left to the church by John R. Crawford. The parlor was furnished 
with furniture, pictures, books, and piano from Mrs. Crawford's home at 205 S. 
John St. A portrait was a gift of her children. 

View of Crawford Parlor 

Clyde D. Crawford 


1956 - The Arcade connecting the church with the Education Building in 
memory of John R. Crawford was completed, also from John R. Crawford be- 

Arcade in memory of John R. Crawford. 

1960 - John L. Henderson died while Chairman of the Board of Deacons. His 
family and friends provided for the installation of the elevator in the south 
vestibule as a tribute to his memory. 

John L. Henderson 

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Memorial Book Stand 

Elevator Door 


1968 - Shocked by the death of Laura Harrell, Sam Hocutt led in converting 
the Men's Bible Class into a memorial chapel which was dedicated as the Laura 
Harrell Chapel in her memory. The original pulpit and three chairs from the first 
church (1858) were reconditioned and found a very acceptable and useful place 
in the chapel. A 1912 flower stand was added to the rostrum, a gift of Mayor John 
Higgins in memory of his parents. All of the above are prominently displayed in 
the chapel that is in constant use. 

1963 - A lot at 1905 E. Walnut St. was given to the church by Mr. Raymond 
Bryan where a new parsonage was built for Rev. Gilmer Cross who moved in on 
completion in 1964. He resided there until his death in 1969. Dr. Leon Smith 
moved in early 1970. Raymond Bryan, the donor, died in September 1983. 

Parsonage for Gilmer Cross - Leon Smith 

1963 - 1983 

1905 E. Walnut Street 


1964 - This was the year for a second and more complete remodeling of the 
Education Building to meet our needs. Our first priority was for a Conference 
Room. On completion the Conference Room was dedicated to our Chairman of 
Deacons, D.N. Alexander, and Finance Chairman, J. Ben Burroughs. These two 
men raised $100,000 for the renovation work in one week. Due to the need for 
more room, in 1976 the Child Care Dept. took over the Conference Room in the 
Education Building. 

D.N. Alexander 

J. Ben Burroughs 

Sanctuary Before The Renovation 


In 1959 a memorial stained glass window in memory of Charles J. Nelson 
became a surplus window when changes were made in the sanctuary. The win- 
dow was stored in the storage room under the church sanctuary until 1979 when 
a suitable space became available at the entrance to the new Fellowship Hall. 



Charles J. Nelson Memorial 

Jesus of Gethsemane 

Many people have asked about the painting of Jesus on the north wall where 
the first choir loft was located. I have inserted on page 147 a picture of the in- 
terior of the church before the latest changes were made in 1959. You will see the 
painting from behind the pulpit. It hung directly over the baptismal pool. The 
painting dates back to 1912. Paul Olsen, the artist from New York, painted it in 
Goldsboro after he had finished his contract of decorating the ceiling and walls of 
the sanctuary. I feel sure he was paid extra for this lovely picture, but I do not 
find reference to it in the Minutes. He also painted a second large picture that 
hung in the Sunday School Dept. until 1959 when it became surplus. 

1974 - The Mary Crawford Norwood Scholarship fund was established as a 
memorial to Mary C. Norwood by funds left to the church in her will and sup- 
plemented by her husband and friends. The fund was established for the benefit 
of First Baptist young people who need financial help in order to attend college. 
It is a grant, not a loan. The fund is governed by a committee elected by the 
church each year. 


In 1943 a very large pulpit Bible was given to Rev. A.J. Smith while he was 
pastor by the Cary Newton Class. Mrs. Carroll Bryan was President and the en- 
tire class of 57 ladies' names is inscribed in the first two pages. This Bible is now 
in storage. 

In 1956 a new pulpit Bible was given in memory of Henry C. Brown by his 
children, two of whom are still members of the church - Mrs. Dorene B. 
Musgrave and Shelton Brown. The open Bible now on the communion table 
below the pulpit is the Brown Memorial. The brass Bible stand is in memory of 
Charles P. Gaylor who died in 1971, a gift by Mrs. Mildred Gaylor. The table 
referred to above was given in memory of G. Frank Seymour by his family in 

Brass Candlesticks gift of James L. and Ida Williams in Memory of Mary C. Norwood. Open 
Bible gift in Memory of H.C. Brown by his children. Communion table a gift in Memory of 
G. Frank Seymour by his family. 

1974 - Two large brass candlesticks were given by James L. Williams and Ida 
Williams in memory of Mary C. Norwood, now used as shown on Seymour table. 
The concert grand piano in the sanctuary was given in memory of Leona 
Banks by her sister, Mrs. Roma Herring and family, 1980. 

Grand piano given in memory of Leona Banks by her sister, Roma Herring & family, 1980. 


Our Youth Fellowhip Hall was dedicated to the memory of Pastor Gilmer 
Cross, 1951-1969. A bronze plaque is mounted on the south wall of the room. 

January 16, 1955, the A.J. Smith Education Building was dedicated to the 
memory of our pastor, Alfred J. Smith. His portrait hangs in the foyer of the 

In 1951, Frank Seymour, Trustee, announced a gift of Geo. W. Waters, Sr. of 
$1,000 for painting the Sanctuary. John R. Crawford had given a deed to a lot on 
Chestnut Street at the rear and adjoining the Strosnider lot with the hope that it 
would be used for building a room for the kindergarten. 

Picture of Education Building after last restoration, 1965. 


First Baptist Kindergarten, Protestant Kindergarten 

1946-1970 Day Care 1969-1982 

In 1946, First Baptist sponsored an interdenominational kindergarten. Mrs. 
John Henderson was Chairman of the committee with Mrs. Sam Hocutt and Mrs. 
G. Frank Seymour. Mrs. Loren Pate was Director. Twenty-five children made up 
the first class. 

After a successful year, five other churches joined in to form the Protestant 
Kindergarten of Goldsboro with headquarters moved to First Presbyterian 
Church where more room was available. 

In 1969 Day Care Ministry was recommended. The Day Care Study Commit- 
tee was appointed by the First Baptist Church in Conference, June 22, 1969 to 
study the feasibility of establishing a Day Care Center in the church. The 
Church's action in this respect was the result of concern by the members of Mrs. 
James Williams' Mission Action Group and W.M.U. Executive Council that 
First Baptist Church become actively involved in meaningful community serv- 
ice. Each committee member had done research in definite areas including a 
survey of working mothers in the community immediately surrounding the 
church, a study of expenses, a study of programs specifically geared to each age 
group, a study of state requirements for licensing, a study of First Baptist 
facilities in general. 

The following proposals were submitted by the Day Care Study Committee 
for action by the First Baptist Church in Conference, February 4, 1970. (1) A self- 
supporting Center, meeting the state requirements for licensing, be established. 
(2) That the Day Care Program be directed by a Day Care Supervisory Council to 
be elected by the church from nominations submitted by the nominating com- 
mittee and to be composed of nine [9] members including a representative from 
the Board of Deacons, and one from the Budget-Finance Board. Each member 
will serve three year terms with three new members beginning service each 
year. (3) That the Day Care Program be initiated at the beginning of the school 
year 1970-71. (4) That a minimum of thirty [30] applications be received by July 
31, 1970, before the program can begin. (5) That the Day Care Program include 
children ages two through five. (6) That salaries for staff be set between $ 1.35 per 
hour and $1.65 per hour. (It is the feeling of the committee that salaries should be 
as close to the upper limit as possible while having the program support itself.) 

(7) That the church support the Day Care Program by investing $561.00 in equip- 
ment: Fencing $140.00, Cots $216.00, Refrigerators $50.00, Playground $150.00. 

(8) That the use of the building and its maintenance be a further contribution by 
the church in support of the Day Care Ministry. The above proposal was submit- 
ted by Emily Powell, Chairman; Joyce Floyd; Betty Austin; Henson Barnes; Ray 
Bryan, Jr.; Jerry Medford. 

This proposal was approved and funds were made available for $2,500.00 ex- 
penditures to prepare for fifty students the first year. Mrs. Helen Barbour as- 
sumed the position of Director. By 1980 Day Care Ministry had expanded to 90 
children, a staff of 13, and an annual budget of $90,000.00. They operated a van 
for pick-up service from schools. In 1983 the enrollment was limited to 100 
children with the annual budget reaching $120,000.00. Enlargement and im- 


provement of facilities has increased each year with continuous satisfaction of 
service rendered. 

Rhonda Gaylor, Emily Privott, Ken Fulghum, and Emily Powell, the Day 
Care Committee, have rendered constant supervision to the Day Care Ministry. 

Dressed as a postman, policeman, fireman and milkman, these 
youngsters of the protestant kindergarten are shown as they par- 
ticipated in a program Thursday given for their parents at the First 
Baptist Church social room. Left to right are: Billy Sasser, son of Mr. 
and Mrs. Roy Sasser; Pat Griffin, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Griffin, Jr.; 
Jim Vinson, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Vinson, Jr., and Harold Pate, son 
of Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis Pate. 

Children attending the first kindergarten class were: Jimmie Best, John Royal Heath, 
Bill Riser, Frances Vinson, Carol Duncan, Harry Cohn, Henry Sherard, Mary Virginia 
Watts, Brenda Brown, Franklin Smith, Jerry Grant, Charles Pate, June Dulaney, Betty Jo 
Stephenson, Barbara Best, Edward Howell, Bennette Denmark, Sanda Franklin, Larry 
Chandler, Linda Price, Judith Pollock, Charles Leder, Philip Ray Littleton, Marylin Berns- 
tein, Alice Henderson, Margaret Seymour, Cathryn Benson. 


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1946 - First organization of kindergarten to become Protestant. 



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Social room of Baptist Day Care 1983 


Wayne County United Church Ministries 

In the spring of 1982, six ministers met in our church office with Dr. Leon 
Smith to discuss United Lenten Services, after which they discussed problems 


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UCM SYMBOL -The logo of United Church Ministries of Wayne County is a basin and 
towel, symbolic of Jesus' servanthood when he washed the feet of the disciples. Carolyn 
Parker, a member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, Beverly Flora, emergency 
specialist for WAGES (Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency) who works at UCM in 
the mornings and Leon Smith, pastor of Goldsboro First Baptist Church, who led in the 
organizing of the community ministry. Biblical Recorder 

that they were all experiencing, helping people, often the same people. Why not 
form a United Ministry, united to serve the whole county? All the churches 
would contribute one dollar for each active member. 

A vacant store on Walnut Street was given for a central place to do business 
and after a renovation to make it more suitable, it was open for business. From 
the six original ministers, it grew to twelve. The idea was great. Support came 
from all over the county. Now there are 52 churches contributing plus several in- 
dividuals and the AFB providing funds for an annual budget of more than 
$60,000.00. At the end of the first year, 1500 families were helped; 61,000 meals 
were provided for; 2149 applications for assistance; 900 checks covering various 
needs were issued totaling $33,521.00 including needs for rent, electric bills, 
fuel, water, travel and gas. 

The United Church Ministry is a joint effort of Wayne County churches 
which provides immediate help to individuals or families in need. The ministry 
is staffed by a trained administrator and volunteer help from the churches and 
one full time staffer supplied by WAGES. 

Each church has a representative on the Board of Directors that meets once a 
month at the First Baptist Church to hear and receive a written report of the past 
month's activities, and the result of the annual Walk-A-Thon that nets an average 
of $25,000.00 each year. Mrs. Caroline Parker is Chairman; Father John Harper 
is Vice Chairman; Elaine Lamm, Secy.; and Parham Taylor is Treasurer. 


Smith Wins Baptist Presidency 

By Carol Branch 

News- Argus Staff Writer 

Greensboro - Dr. E. Leon Smith of Goldsboro captured the office of presi- 
dent of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention here Tuesday by the largest 
margin ever recorded as moderates swept 
into the state convention's top three offices. 

Fundamentalists were soundly turned 
back in their bid to take over the state 

Smith, pastor of the First Baptist 
Church in Goldsboro, won 62.3 percent of 
the vote. His closest opponent, fundamen- 
talist leader Ned Mathews of Gastonia, 
picked up only 36.3 percent. The final 
tabulation was of 3,375 votes for Smith to 
1,967 for Mathews. Another candidate, 
Ted Stone of Durham, had 73 votes. 

The 5,578 messengers made up the 
largest convention in North Carolina Bap- 
tist history. Both moderate and fundamen- 
talist leaders regarded this meeting of the 
North Carolina Baptist masses as the most 
important in the convention's history. 

Dr. E. Leon Smith 

Moderates believe the Bible is inspired, but open to interpretation, while fun- 
damentalists believe the Bible is inerrant - without error in all matters, in- 
cluding history and science. 

"We're excited about the affirmation of the masses who have come to keep the 
North Carolina convention strong and in the mainstream of North Carolina Bap- 
tist life," Smith said after the election. 

"The convention demonstrated that North Carolina Baptists are not a people 
of creeds or strong-armed ideologies," Smith said after the victory. "It 
demonstrated that we're a people depending on leadership from the grass-roots 
level, a people that respect the rights of everyone to interpret Holy Scripture ac- 
cording to conscience without fear of being categorized as unfaithful. 

"Baptists want to stay in the mainstream of life," Smith added. "We don't want 
to get into some tributary." 

For weeks Smith has been pushing for Baptists to remember their heritage of 
freedom and local autonomy of the church. He and other moderates feel the fun- 
damentalist movement is pushing toward making the Baptist faith a more 
creedal denomination. 

Smith says it is not Baptist for one group to try and impose its views on all 


The Origin of The North Carolina State Convention — 

The Biblical Recorder — Wake Forest College 

Greenville, N.C. - 1832 

The relation of the men who led in the formation of the North Carolina State 
Convention becomes of increasing interest when you re-read the biographies of 
our first seven pastors. They all took a part in the orginization at one time or 
another. Samuel Wait took the leading role 
and was the first General Secretary. He 
also got the Biblical Recorder started and 
then pushed on to be the founder and first 
President of Wake Forest. After twelve 
years as President, he was ready to pass 
the post to someone else so he could return 
to preaching. First Baptist was honored 
when he accepted our call in 1853-1856. 

As early as 1825 Samuel Wait was 
preaching and talking organization in 
Eastern North Carolina. He settled at New 
Bern Baptist Church in 1827 from which 
he could fan out to smaller churches in the 
area as he continued his efforts to con- 
solidate the Baptist Associations. 

Rev. Martin Ross of Chowan Association was the first to suggest such an 
organization of churches into a Convention, but he died before Wait arrived. 
There were other organizations that had their following as well as independent 



Samuel Wait 

Bear Marsh Baptist Church Since 1760 

traveling preachers, such as David Thomson who was very active in trying to 
unite the Baptist churches and Associations of the State before Wait. He was 
often a visitor, preaching in the Goshen Association that met at the Bear Marsh 


Meeting House in Duplin County, just a few miles south of Mt. Olive. In 1830 he 
was sent to the Kehukee Association in Halifax County in an attempt to unify the 
churches in the northeast, but he was not successful. The Kehukee Association 
was perhaps the oldest in the State. It dates back to 1742. They were strictly fun- 
damentalists. Their membership extended into Virginia. 

They refused to commune with Eastern Carolina Baptists, who they called 
Separates or Liberal Baptists, who would accept anyone as members into the 
church, believers and unbelievers. They would baptize unbelievers and make 
them believers after baptism. Kehukee Association never did join the Conven- 
tion but several other organizations did such as the Baptist Benevolent Society of 
the Tar River Association. 

Charles J. Nelson, born in Craven County in 1815, was a member of the Bap- 
tist Church in New Bern while Samuel Wait was pastor and got his missionary 
spirit from Wait before he was lured to Waynesborough in 1838 by the coming of 
the railroad. He persuaded the leading merchants in Waynesborough to join him 
in building the first Meeting House in 1840 where all denominations might wor- 
ship. Nelson organized the first Sunday School as soon as the hall was complete. 
He invited traveling preachers such as David Thomson to come preach to the 
Sunday School. By 1843 with the aid of Thomson from Smithfield, George 
Dupree of Wake County and Robert McNabb, the Sunday School became the 
Missionary Baptist Church of Waynesborough. David Thomson agreed to 
become the first pastor until Nelson could find his replacement. He was then 89 
years old. He died September 1844, age 90, after serving as pastor for less than 
one year. 

Please refer to our recent updated history of our church and read the first five 
pages and more to get the continued history from this date, 1843 to 1984. 

Old First Baptist Church New Bern, N.C. 1812